Massive anode continues slow journey to Miami mine

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on August 11, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 11 at 9:14 AM

Map: Wickenburg and Miami

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WICKENBURG, Ariz. -- A massive anode used to refine copper is on its way to a mine in Miami, which is about 80 miles east of the Phoenix area.

Weighing in at 285 tons, the huge piece of equipment left Salt Lake City on a specially designed trailer on Aug. 2. The truck and rig stretch 225 feet. It’s operated by Phoenix–based Precision Heavy Haul.

Escorted by the Department of Public Safety, the oversized load takes up two lanes and is traveling slowly, going only about 20 to 30 mph. It only goes 15 mph uphill.

The rig with its colossal cargo crossed the Hoover Dam early Tuesday morning. It is the largest oversize load to cross the bridge.

Crews from the electric company are traveling ahead of the convoy to make sure that power lines crossing the roadways will clear the top of the anode.

The Fort McDowell News Chopper caught up with the anode as it left Wickenburg, which is northwest of Phoenix, Thursday morning. The Arizona Department of Transportation warned drivers that there would likely be delays in the area around the rig because of it sheer size and the fact that it moves relatively slowly compared to most traffic.

The haulers will stop near the junction of Interstate 17 and State Route 74 Thursday night.

At midnight Friday, the convoy will move on to Fountain Hills via Scottsdale Road, Dynamite Boulevard, Rio Verde Road, Forest Road, McDowell Mountain Road, Saguaro Boulevard and Shea Boulevard. There will be no impact on weekend travelers as the rig will break for the weekend.

On Monday, the hulking anode will continue its journey, leaving Fountain Hills at 3 a.m. It will head north on State Route 87 and then southeast on State Route 188 to Tonto Basin.

The final leg of the trip begins Tuesday at 6 a.m. when the mammoth rig travels southeast on State Route 188 and then west on US 60 to the New Street mine entrance.

By the time it reaches its new home at the Freeport-McMoRan mine in Miami on Tuesday, Aug. 16, the anode will have traveled nearly 400 miles.

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