UPDATE MAY 10, 2023
A MySaline reader was watching IDriveArkansas on Wednesday May 10th before 10:00 a.m. She caught this screenshot above of the huge load and convoy to coming through, on Highway 82 in the area west of Crossett.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation posted a photo of the kiln – looking similar to a ferris wheel or a very large wagon wheel – coming down the highway. In a light tone, they explained “the logistics of moving an extremely oversize” load as… “Lead trucks with poles to make sure the load will fit under things. Bucket trucks to move things the load won’t fit under (for example, they will lift up power lines or temporarily remove them when necessary). People trying to take selfies with said monstrosity.”
Read the full article below for where this slow-moving load is coming from, and where it is going. If you are in the area of the route, there will be traffic delays.
PREVIOUSLY MAY 5, 2023
If you’re traveling in the southern half of Arkansas for Mother’s Day or any other reason from May 10-15, you may encounter a delay in your trip, due to a very large load being transported on the highways. There is a kiln furnace weighing over 600,000 pounds, that is being transported all the way from Italy to meet the United States in New Orleans, Louisiana. Then the last leg of its tour is to come from Crossett, Arkansas to up to Gum Springs. All this at a maximum of 20 miles per hour.
The kiln is reported to be 23-feet wide. It takes up two lanes of traffic. It’s also around 20-feet high and about ten times that long. To put that into perspective, a normal semi truck and trailer will be just over 48 feet long and up to around 72 feet long, according to U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (USDOT-FHWA). This means this vehicle is about 3-4 times the length of a regular semi truck.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation, along with Arkansas Highway Police will escort this huge load on state highways. Electric crews will come in beforehand to remove electric, phone and cable lines that might be an obstacle. There will also be barricades on the highways during its journey.
Its final destination is Veolia North America (VNA), a thermal hazardous waste treatment company. Dates and highways are below:
If you can’t see the map embedded above, visit this link to view it in Google Maps.
Barnhart Crane and Rigging of Memphis, Tennessee is hauling the load. They will leave out of the Crossett Port Wednesday, May 10, arriving in Gum Springs Monday, May 15.
Travel times will begin at 8 a.m. each weekday and at sunrise on the weekend. The transport will move at 5 to 20 miles per hour. Expect travel delays. According to ARDOT, the equipment will move along the following route:
- Wednesday, May 10 (8 a.m.) – US-82 at Crossett Port to AR-275 in Strong
- Thursday, May 11 (8 a.m.) – US-63 to US-167 in El Dorado
- Friday, May 12 (8 a.m.) – US 167B to US-79 to Stephens
- Saturday, May 13 (Dawn) – Stephens to US-278 to Rosston
- Sunday, May 14 (Dawn) – US-278 to US-371 to 2nd Street in Prescott; AR-24 to AR-53 to Gurdon
- Monday, May 15 (8 a.m.) – AR-53 to US-67 to Gum Springs
The kiln is coming to a 1,400-acre property, where VNA currently has a facility under construction. In a news release October 22, 2022, VNA stated this new facility would increase their employee count from around 100 to around 200. They expect the economic impact of the expansion and new construction to be over $1 billion in the first five years. The facility will serve for the destruction of electric car batteries, recycling wind turbine blades, capturing contaminants and treating over 100,000 tons of waste materials every year.