Giant tank stops traffic on journey through South MS

POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - A super-sized load hauled across several South Mississippi roadways Thursday caused some traffic headaches for hundreds of drivers. Motorists were forced to get off of the highways and wait until a tractor trailer carrying a 191-ton tank passed through.

When we caught up with the tank near Poplarville, the 134 foot long, 20 foot high, and 19 foot wide tank occupied both lanes of Highway 26.

"Do I mind the wait? Yes, kind of. I'm in a hurry. I'm fixing to be 41-years-old and I have never had to pull over cause a wide load is coming through," said Poplarville resident Lanny Beckham.

Anna Hicks of Louisiana made a similar comment.

"I've got to go get my daughter from school."

For other drivers, it was a chance to take in a sight they don't see every day.

"No big thing, I'll just wait," said Poplarville resident Greg Dickerson.

Latta Herring of Pearl River County didn't mind the wait either.

"If it's something coming through Mississippi, it's for some industry or whatever. Anything to better our state, we don't mind waiting for anything."

The giant tank is headed to Trinity Offshore on Seaway Road in Gulfport. This is the final leg of a four month journey that began in New Prague, Minnesota.

"Normally, we would have barged this load. When we first loaded it, the Mississippi River was not up to height for a barge. The third tank there is one more of these that will be coming by barge," explained Matthew Frechette, Owner of MEF Transportation.

Trucking the super-sized load to the coast was an expensive and tedious process. Phone, cable and power-lines often had to be raised with tools called hot sticks to allow for safe passage.

Frechette said, "We've got about 12 different agencies, public utilities, and everything involved on this move here. There's a lot of work involved in this, months of planning."

The 1,200 mile haul could cost between $300,000 and $500,000, maybe more.

The haul traveled down Highways 26 and 49 on Thursday. It will be parked overnight somewhere along Highways 67 and 605. Crews will move it to its final destination by Friday morning.

The giant tank will eventually hold fuel for an offshore oil operation.

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