High-Centered

Last Wednesday a very large and long trailer was making its way down Hwy 19 from the north, just a little after the noon hour. The cargo was a monstrous gray tube, that turned out to be part of the base of a wind turbine. The truck waited patiently at the four-way stop, the lead truck with lights flashing and “Oversized Load” signs waiting just ahead. As the truck moved through the stop sign and up the hill by the Hermann Visitor Center, it looked like clear sailing as Market Street stretch out in front of the driver, who represented Daily Express, from Carlisle, Penn. Permits and route were designated by MoDOT ahead of time and it was hoped they would make good time down this narrow roadway without shoulders to Hwy 50 and  Interstate 44. 

All looked good until the truck jerked to a stop, almost as if a giant had ahold of the back of the trailer. It had high-centered on the crest of Market Street. Yielding to simple structural physics, this rig was going nowhere.

Now traffic coming from Hwy 19 North had to detour down 1st Street, up Schiller Street and left on 4th Street. The Advertiser-Courier office called City Hall to tell them 18-wheelers were narrowly missing parked cars on 4th Street. 

“I got some detour signs and cones and we started taking these semis down Gutenberg to 5th Street, to get them South on Hwy 19, said Hermann Road Commissioner Mark Wallace.

“I think the driver said from the front bumper of the truck to the end of the trailer, it was 140 ft.,” he said. 

The trailer was eventually dislodged around 6 p.m. with two wreckers from Sky Line, out of Foristell, Mo. The idea was to lift the trailer from the backend while moving the truck forward, foot-by-foot. Hookup and pull. Hookup and pull.

Wallace said they were headed to Goodhope, Ill., almost due East of Keokuk, Iowa, which would put them on a very long “U-shaped” route, heading back north once the driver reached St. Louis.

MoDOT representatives from the Drake office were on the scene assisting, as well as the Hermann Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office.  

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