Nearly 100 huge wind turbine blades will be transported by truck to a storage facility on the outskirts of Palmerston North from next Tuesday (31 March) to free up storage space at Port Taranaki.
The blades are destined for Mercury's new wind farm under construction in Turitea, Manawatū.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Transport Systems Manger Ross I’Anson says while most activities have been paused during the current COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown, moving the blades is deemed essential.
“The space they are occupying at the Port is needed for incoming cargo, so Waka Kotahi has granted approval for the blades to be moved during the lockdown period.
“All necessary steps to conform with Ministry of Health guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 crisis and work practices will be taken during this activity, to help keep everyone safe,” says Mr I’Anson.
The cargo will leave Port Taranaki at 3am each morning and is expected to arrive in Palmerston North at 8am. Ten blades will be moved along State Highway 44 and State Highway 3 each week between Monday and Friday. It’s expected to take up to eight weeks to move all of the blades.
Mr I’Anson encourages people to keep an eye out their window for the blades in transit.
“At 56 metres long, these blades will be an interesting sight on our roads and may provide some entertainment for people looking from their windows during the lockdown,” says Mr I’Anson.
Waka Kotahi encourages everyone to stay home, stay safe and be kind during this unsettling time.
Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with:
Phone: 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)