Bert Kouns lanes cleared of huge windmill base

By Fred Childers - email | bio

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -   During the morning commute, drivers near Bert Kouns and I-49 watched a gigantic windmill base fall from an eighteen wheeler. Witnesses say when the structure hit, it shook the ground."When you got that much weight it's hard to shut it down," said the truck driver's escort, David Youngblood. Youngblood and Charles Parker escorted two trucks, and saw the first windmill collide with the overpass. "By the time it made initial contact with it I keyed up to shut the truck down, but it was already in motion and that's all she wrote," said Youngblood. The escorts had kept drivers clear from that lane, so nobody was hurt, but police were left with a big, problem, clearing the lanes. "There's a lot of maneuvering we're going to have to do," said Cpl. Jerry J. Silva with the Shreveport Police Department.
The Department of Transportation and Development came to the scene immediately, officials were concerned about a dent, which was caused when the lip of the windmill structure caught the overpass, but as for the structure itself, DOTD says it's sound. "We have no concerns about driving over the bridge, we shut that one lane down as a precautionary measure," says DOTD Engineer, Greg Wall.
    It's not clear why the base - which has passed through many times-  didn't pass this time. "There's a number of things, I don't know," says Parker. Whatever the reason, the load was too high, and the state cited the driver for several violations.
     Five hours after the ground- shaking crash, a crane called in from Bossier, squeezed between north and south bound lanes of I-49 and lifted the base onto another truck, and lanes were finally cleared.