JESUP — A Georgia Department of Transportation convoy carrying a huge mechanical manufacturing press in two parts left Jesup at 9 o’clock this morning with a goal of reaching Willacoochee before sunset today.
The snail-paced, meandering journey started in Brunswick Thursday with a final destination of Albany.
Jill Nagel, DOT communications officer, is traveling with the convoy which is averaging 5 mph, a pace that yields an ETA of 4 p.m. for Blackshear and 6 o’clock for Waycross.
“They spent last night at a Shell station here on Highway 84,” said Nagel. “Their goal was to reach Willacoochee today. They have to be parked and off the road by 30 minutes before sunset.”
Nagel said traffic quickly stacks up behind the convoys (the machine is being transported in two huge loads, 30 minutes apart), but they periodically will pull over to the side of the highway to let traffic by.
The loads are 115 feet long, 20 feet tall, 20.5 feet wide and weigh about 150,000 pounds, said Nagel.
“Everything went smoothly yesterday,” Nagel said. “When it gets to Screven, traffic will have to stop and they will have to go down the ‘wrong’ side of the road because of the buildings in Screven.”
When the trucks reach Waycross on U.S. 84 (Plant Avenue), they will turn west on Pinehurst Drive, then south on Tebeau Street, west on Francis Street, north on McDonald Street and then west on U.S. 82 (South Georgia Parkway).
Nagel said the movement of the convoy can be tracked on Facebook, at Georgia DOT Southeast, as she will post pictures and information from time to time.