Transformer the size of a building to be driven into place Monday morning in Manchester

  • A transformer awaits shipment to Deerfield. NH DOT

Monitor staff
Saturday, April 14, 2018

Commuters take note: A large, slow vehicle – make that very large and very slow – will be driving from Manchester to Deerfield on Monday morning.

The Department of Transportation says a “supermove” of an Eversource electric transformer, which tips the scales at around 550,000 pounds, is set to begin Monday morning just after midnight.

The building-sized device, which changes the voltage of electricity from large transmission lines so it can be distributed locally, was brought by train to the Pan Am rail yards on Elm Street in Manchester.

It will be carried to the Deerfield substation on a 150-foot-long self-powered trailer that rides on 18 axles, going at 15 mph or less.

The trip will travel on Interstate 93, Route 27 in Hooksett, Route 43 in Candia and Deerfield, and Route 107 in Deerfield and should take almost 14 hours, arriving around 2 p.m., weather permitting.

State police and escort vehicles will accompany the trailer, but DOT notes that “motorists encountering the convoy along the route should expect delays.”

“We spent about four months planning the logistics of this move – conducting thorough surveys of the route and working closely with the NH DOT, local police and town officials to ensure a safe move and to help reduce traffic impacts,” said Eversource New Hampshire Lead Substation Engineer Chuck Christensen.

The transformer,  built in South Korea by Hico-America, a subsidiary of Hyosung Power Systems, will replace an older model and is part of upgrades Eversource is making to the grid.

Edwards Moving and Rigging, a Kentucky firm with offices in Massachusetts among other places, owns the trailer and wbe overseeing the move. It will take several weeks to set up the transformer and get it into operation, once it is installed.