Ameren Illinois on Friday plans to move a transformer that weighs more than 100 tons from Fairmont City to Collinsville as part of a $10 million project to help improve electricity service reliability.
The move is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. after the end of rush hour and is expected to last four to six hours.
The 19-mile trip at 10 mph is planned to go from a rail yard in Fairmont City to a new bulk substation in Collinsville on Troy Road. Movers plan to go east on Collinsville Road, turn left to go north on Sand Prairie Road, then north on Illinois 111, east on Horseshoe Lake Road, north on Illinois 157, east on Illinois 162, south on Illinois 159, and then east on Troy Road.
The transformer will be moved on an 11-foot-wide trailer with 96 wheels.
When on the trailer, the transformer will be 18-feet tall.
Ameren is coordinating with the Illinois Department of Transportation as well as with local utilities to help raise lines and cables along the route. An Illinois State Police escort also is planned, said Brian Bretsch, a spokesman for Ameren Illinois.
Police also will make the decision if traffic will need to be stopped, or guided around the trailer.
“Moving a large transformer is something you do not see every day, but safety is paramount in a move like this,” Bretsch said.
The new transformer would benefit about 10,000 business and residential customers in Collinsville, Maryville, and Troy, Bretsch said. It would help during outages and help meet future capacity needs.
“The bulk substation is needed to add capacity to meet increasing customer load growth in the three communities as well as to reinforce the existing electric system in Madison County and improve service reliability,” Bretsch said.
The transformer was built in St. Louis and was transported by rail across the Mississippi River, Bretsch said.