WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A big rig with a load seven times over the state’s weight limit is no longer sitting on the side of I-95.
The 16-axle truck and its cargo are now sitting in a Park & Ride lot on Route 117 in Warwick, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) confirmed Friday.
RIDOT said the truck was hauling a 560,000-pound generator, well over the 80,000-pound maximum the state allows on bridges. Trucks transporting anything heavier than 80,000 pounds require a special permit.
RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said Bay Crane Northeast, the company hauling the generator, applied for a permit last week. However, for reasons unknown, the truck left Quonset Point while the application was still being reviewed.
Alviti said the truck had already gone over four bridges before it was stopped. Inspectors are checking those bridges to make sure they are structurally sound.
“The largest of the four has [been inspected] and it’s fine,” Alviti said. “That was the most critical and the one we were most concerned with. We inspected it yesterday and last night and it is fine.”
The big rig was on its way to GE in Massachusetts and would have traveled over 37 Rhode Island bridges on its planned route, some of which are structurally deficient.
“We think we have found an alternative route that these loads can be transferred through that has, number one, fewer bridges, smaller bridges and newer bridges,” Alviti said.
A spokesperson for Bay Crane said they started the journey without the permit on good faith that one was coming.
“We were told that it was OK pending the permit, which was coming soon,” said Bay Crane spokesperson John Tassoni. “The truck is so big that it can only go relatively slow in the process, so we started out and then unfortunately the permit never came.”
The company has not been fined as of yet, but Tassoni said Bay Crane has already lost thousands of dollars as a result. However, he wanted to assure the public they would not be the ones left with the bill.
“Not one cent is going to be coming out of the taxpayers’ pocket,” Tassoni said. “We own it, we’ll deliver it, we’ll pay for it.”
Alviti said RIDOT processes hundreds of requests to move overweight loads each year but this is the first time they’ve received a request of this size. Tassoni and Alviti plan to sit down together to discuss a plan for this load, as well as 18 other large pieces that need to be delivered to the same location in the near future.