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Truck carrying chemical reactor vessel breaks down for second time

Posted December 10, 2011

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— A truck carrying a stainless steel pressurized chemical reactor vessel broke down for the second time in a week Saturday morning and caused heavy delays on I-540 West near Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh police said.

Officials closed several lanes of I-540W Saturday morning for about three hours while crews worked to move the truck. All lanes of I-540W were reopened just after 12:30 p.m. 

The rocket-shaped chemical reactor vessel raised eyebrows and created a lot of buzz among drivers earlier in the week when some of the tires on the truck carrying it were flattened en route from Winterville to a chemical plant under construction in Tennessee. 

chemical reactor vessel Photos of the chemical reactor vessel

On Saturday morning, according to authorities, an axle broke as the truck tried to move the 150-ton reactor that is more than 125 feet long. 

Jon Yuhas, risk manager for Winterville-based The Roberts Company, said Tuesday that the empty vessel was en route to a chemical plant in Tennessee but would not say where because of proprietary restrictions. 

The Highway Patrol, which was escorting the truck through North Carolina earlier this week, said Tuesday that the company has a permit to transport the vessel.

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  • wilsoncraftnc Dec 12, 2011

    I have now named this thing "Waldo"... It was stuck on the exit ramp from HWY 64 to I540 for about a week. It disappeared on Saturday. Saw it again on I540 on my way to work this morning. It's now becoming a game of "Where's Waldo". There he is!!!!