SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A permit has been issued for transportation of a slow-moving 'super load' heading from Louisiana to Longview, Texas this weekend that is expected to cause traffic delays.
The load, measuring 275 feet long by 25 feet high and 18 feet wide, will move at a maximum of 5 mph, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation.
It will carry an equipment upgrade described as a "cold box" for an Eastman Chemical project in Longview.
Before it gets to Longview the super load made it's way up the Red River from the Gulf of Mexico.
"Fortunately we have a new 12 to 13 million dollar dock, and we have a larger crane that can move any size load," said James Pannell, Commissioner for the Caddo Bossier Port.
It's so large that crews moving it will have to move utility lines out of the way as it passes through some areas, temporarily disrupting service to some customers as they go. As a result, the load will be escorted by utility vehicles and law enforcement the whole way.
"It is the largest thing we have ever accepted at the port. A few years ago we would not have been able to receive that," said Pannell.
The route through Shreveport includes Bert Kouns Industrial Loop, E. Flournoy Lucas Road, LA Hwy. 1 and W 70th Street.
Previous reports that the whole thing would have to be delayed due to a change in the route were clarified Wednesday by Wendy Cook with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The process of re-issuing the permit was started earlier than originally reported, and Cook confirmed Thursday that it has now been issued, effective July 17 - 26.
LA DOTD issued an advisory earlier in the week warning of traffic delays along the route starting Friday and into Sunday afternoon. Drivers are encouraged to avoid those areas or risk getting caught in significant back-ups.
It's expected to leave the Port of Shreveport-Bossier at 9 a.m. Friday and travel along some major roads through Shreveport through Saturday before crossing the Louisiana/Texas border in Bethany around 2 p.m. Sunday.
From Bethany, the transport will head toward Carthage on US 79 and head north on US 59, using FM 1794 toward Tatum, but detouring off of FM 1794 via FM 959 instead of taking it all the way across to State Highway 53 north of Tatum.
A portion of FM 1794 is the road that has since become private following the purchase of property by a mining company after the initial route and permit were approved.
From there, the load would turn south on SH 43 and take several city streets (Martin and Whitney) in Tatum (to bypass the railroad underpass on SH 43) to get to SH 149 West.
It would then travel northwest on SH 149 to Longview and turn east on the IH 20 frontage road and then to its final destination on Callahan Road.
Edwards Moving & Rigging is hauling the load.