Carroll County Times

Transformer travel stalled in Westminster

About 18 months after leaving Mexico en route to Hunterstown, Pa., a 440,000-pound power transformer has found its journey north stalled in Westminster.

The transformer, which is expected to snarl traffic in Carroll County when it leaves Westminster destined for Pennsylvania, may not be moved until September, according to Dennis Sargenti, owner of Central Jersey Trucking and Rigging, who is handling the transportation.


The transformer was expected to be moved Aug. 11, but was delayed after a weight discrepancy that will require additional planning and analysis to ensure area roadways can handle the weight. It is currently sitting in the Conaway Parking Lot along Railroad Avenue.

Combined, the 128-tire hydraulic trailer and transformer weigh 610,000 pounds, Sargenti said.


The transformer is destined for a First Energy substation in Hunterstown, Pa., but has had an extensive journey already.

It was first transported by ship from Mexico to the Port of Norfolk before loading a barge destined for the Port of Baltimore. It was then loaded onto a rail car before arriving in Westminster about a week ago, Sargenti said.

After the transformer was weighed by state police last week and found to be heavier than expected, the route must be re-engineered to ensure bridges can handle the weight, according to Sargenti.

Sargenti said they are in the process of re-engineering the route, but the transformer may not be moved until September because of state permits and the upcoming Labor Day holiday.

Once in motion, the transport is expected to travel at a speed "a little faster than a walk" from its current location to Main Street before turning right onto John Street, leading it out to Route 140. From there it will travel up Route 97  before hitting Route 15 in Pennsylvania, according to Sargenti.

Westminster Director of Public Works Jeff Glass told the Westminster Common Council Monday that the city will monitor the effects on water mains and storm drain culverts, but added that it likely won't be a problem.

He said the city plans to videotape the entire move and to monitor any damage that might be done.

Sargenti said there's no reason to be concerned with damage because the trailer is no heavier than a cement truck based on the weight per axle on the trailer.


"We're not in the business of tearing up roads," he said.

Police Chief Jeff Spaulding added that the city had not even been consulted about the shipment.

"Had we not seen the tractor trailers parked in the Conaway Lot and had they not interfered with our farmer's market, we wouldn't have been involved in this conversation at all," Spaulding said.