MODOT to close portions of I-35, I-435 north of Kansas City for transformer move

By Land Line staff | Thursday, January 16, 2014

For the first time ever, the state of Missouri will completely shut down an interstate while moving a “super load,” according to a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The highways and interstates to be shut down include Interstate 35 and Interstate 435 between Liberty and Smithville, as well as Missouri Routes152 and 169. The closures will affect both the north and southbound lanes of the roads.

The load in question is a massive power transformer for the Kansas City Power and Light substation at Nashua, said DeAnne Rickabaugh, a MODOT spokeswoman. The transformer weighs in at nearly three-quarters of a million pounds and is nearly 13 feet wide, nearly 20 feet tall, and over 196 feet long.

Highway restrictions will begin as early as 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, to establish median crossovers, adjust traffic signal heads, and raise overhead utility lines. Transformer movement onto interstates and state highways will begin around 11 p.m. and be done by 7 a.m. Friday morning.

“The reason we’re shutting down both sides is there are certain overhead obstructions and other obstructions they have to bypass,” Rickabaugh said. “They might be driving north in a southbound lane.”

Rickabaugh said the load will be hauled by two tractors – a 2013 Peterbilt to pull the load and a 2013 Kenworth to push it – and a Goldhofer platform trailer. The entire rig will have 36 axles.

The trip encompasses roughly 10 miles of interstate highway and is expected to take about six hours, according to Rickabaugh.

The shutdown will affect I-35 from Route 152 to Route 291 (mile markers 16-17) in both directions for up to 1½ hours, and I-435 between Route 152 and Route 169 (mile markers 49-41) for up to four hours. Traffic will detour to Route 152 and Route 169 to bypass this closure.

The new transformer will help KCP&L provide power to the Kansas City area.

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