Monday, September 24, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
The thought of a truck slamming into the overpass at the Parachute interchange of Interstate 70 chills the city’s mayor, Roy McClung.
“If we were to have something happen to that bridge … the whole north side of this valley is cut off from emergency service,” McClung said. “The best bet we would have is Flight For Life out of Grand Junction.”
McClung said the truck crash into a span over I-70 at 26 1/2 Road in Grand Junction this summer only renewed his concerns.
Grand Valley Fire Protection District Chief David Blair said if the Parachute overpass were damaged, his staff would encounter significant delays responding north of the city.
Because emergency services are based south of the overpass, crews would have to drive along frontage roads east to Rifle or west to Garfield County Road 300 to cross I-70.
“That bridge really is the only way from north Parachute to south Parachute,” Blair said.
McClung said the city is working with the Colorado Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration to turn a bridge roughly 1 1/2 miles west of Parachute into a working overpass.
That bridge is an old railroad overpass which was earmarked as a second Parachute interchange during the oil shale boom of the early 1980s, McClung said.
“Most of the infrastructure is there, but we have to go through CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, and that is a long, slow process at best,” he said.
It could take three to five years to begin construction, he said.
Doug Aden, who heads Colorado’s Transportation Commission, said Parachute’s concerns are another example of needs outpacing the state’s transportation budget.
“These are real-life examples of things that just aren’t going to get done, at least with state funds, given the current revenues available to CDOT,” Aden said.
Creating a new interchange or expanding the existing interchange to deal with increased energy-industry traffic would be “very expensive” prospects.
Aden said unless the federal government or local entities pay for highway projects, Parachute might have to wait.
While overpass expansions sit on the back burner, McClung said city officials nervously hope the bridge at its inerchange remains intact.
“With the number of oil field trucks we have coming through here, it’s just a matter of time before something happens,” McClung said.
He said it’s just a matter of time before a water truck crashes into the bridge, igniting the diesel fuel in its tank.
“If the wrong thing happens and one of these suckers blows up, it’s going to be bad news,” McClung said.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
By Record Searchlight staff Tuesday, September 18, 2007
A Colusa man was in serious condition Monday evening after the water tender he was driving for a Bieber logging company rolled over on a forest road Monday morning north of Lake Britton. Wallace Allee, 69, was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding about an hour after the 1980 Kenworth he was driving for Dell Logging hit a small tree and flipped, according a report by the California Highway Patrol. It appeared that the truck brakes had failed as Allee was driving downhill, a CUHP spokesman said. The truck lost its water tank and ended up on its wheels again, the CHP report said.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
"Strong man opens with two world's record breakers Related Videos Strong man takes aim at record Strong man John Wooten attempts to break a world record by pulling a truck at the Oklahoma State Fair. What could possibly be a better way to kick off Oklahoma's centennial year state fair than by breaking a world record?
Promoter Jim Morris would answer that with a quick reply — "breaking two world records.”Strong man John Wooten, 59, of Boston pulls a water truck weighing more than 50,000 pounds during a kickoff event for the Oklahoma State Fair Centennial Expo on Wednesday.
And that's what happened Wednesday. Unfortunately, not many people saw it because the fair was not yet open.
The fair begins today with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. And in recognition of the state's 100th birthday, for one day and one day only, admission will be $1, as in 100 pennies.
After today, gate admission goes back to $8 for adults and $5 for children six through 11, but fair officials and promoters such as Morris have worked hard to make sure the entertainment and attractions are worth the admission price.
For years, Morris has been the promoter in charge of the ever-popular monster truck show. But a centennial celebration only comes along once in a lifetime, and Morris said he wanted to do something a little different this year.
What he came up with is more of the kind of blue-collar, crowd-pleasing entertainment you'd expect to mesh well with the monster-truck crowd.
"I'm doing the supercross, but then I said, ‘Hey, why don't we do something like that strongman stuff you see on TV?'” he said.
Thus was born Oklahoma's Strongest Man competition,
To promote the strong-man competition, Morris brought in John Wooten, a 59-year-old Boston resident who holds 139 world records in feats of strength.
He was going for time and distance.
It took him three tries, but on the last one, he managed to clear what he said were two world records.
The previous records for moving a 50,000-pound truck were 10 feet in 10.5 seconds, and 30 feet in 29.65 seconds.
Wooten made the 10 feet in 10.27 seconds and the 30 feet in 23.65 seconds.
"And that was uphill,” he boasted as he gasped for breath.
Over the years, Wooten said, he's done some crazy strength tests, including on separate occasions, pulling a 757 jet, pulling a cruise ship and back lifting a 7,000-pound elephant.
But during Friday night's strongest man competition at the fair, he's got a show, he said, that's "really crazy — it's gonna be really off the wall. But you have to come out Friday and see it. I'm not talking.”