Downtown Cortez got an unusual glimpse of oversized Chinese manufacturing on Friday when a 200-foot-long transport rolled down Main Street, stretching nearly the length of a city block.
According to the transport company, the load, which was made in China and shipped to Houston, was on its way to Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho. Its route required an eastward detour though Cortez before heading north and west because the load was too tall to clear the elevated water pipe just south of Colorado Highway 184 on U.S. Highway 491.
The Lone Pine Lateral canal pipe on U.S. 491 is 16 feet, 8 inches high. The transport load is 17 feet, 4 inches high.
According to Don Miller, operations manager at Intermountain Rigging and Heavy Haul of Salt Lake City, the transport crew planned to travel west on Colorado 184, then north on U.S. 491 through Colorado, eventually connecting to Interstate 84 as it neared Boise.
The load, known as a “cold box,” is cooling unit that liquefies air into nitrogen and frequently is used in mining and glass- and metal-making industries. Micron makes semiconductors.
Ron Montgomery, president of IRH, said the cold box weighs 160 tons – 320,000 pounds – and is 147 feet long. The combined weight of the truck, trailer and cold box is about 275 tons, or 550,000 pounds. The combined length is about 200 feet, Montgomery said.
The transport appeared to have 14 axles and eight wheels per axle – 112 tires.
The height of the transport required city crews to use a crane boom to raise traffic lights on Main Street as the load passed beneath.
The IRH transport crew received an escort from the Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Materials Team, but the load did not carry hazardous materials, said trooper Gary Cutler. CSP commonly escorts oversized loads to help manage traffic.