$14M wind turbine crane damaged in rollover on Manitoulin Island

By Rita Poliakov, The Sudbury Star
A $14-million crane was damaged in a tractor-trailer rollover on Manitoulin Island. On Tuesday, the tractor-trailer carr ying the crane crashed at the intersection of Bidwell Road and Rockville Road near Little Current. The 108,000-pound crane tipped the trailer over when the driver hit a soft shoulder while turning onto Rockville Road from Bidwell Road, the OPP said.

The crane was being transported to M’Chigeeng First Nation, where it was to be used in the construction of two windmills.

M’Chigeeng Chief Joseph Hare said the crane will be checked for damage and another may be sent up. The crane may delay work on the windmill for two days, but Hare still expects the project to be built in around two weeks, if not less.

“They’re bringing in another crane, they’ll probably use this one … (the project) will be delayed for two days, that’s the extent of the delay,” Hare said, adding that the crash happened because of Rockville’s winding road.

” To get to the site of the windmills, turbines and the towers, there’s kind of a bit of a winding road, a back road in the area of the township of Rockville … The truck driver didn’t negotiate the turn, and so his truck and the load he was carrying kind of went into the ditch and tipped over and spilled the load.”

Around 20 truckloads of materials are being sent for the project.

“It takes one truck to transport one blade, we have six blades … and there’s other parts, the tower and so on,” Hare said.

According to police, the driver was not hurt, but was charged with careless driving. Police did not release his name.

The Ministry of the Environment was notified of the crash because oil was leaking from the tractor unit, OPP said.

For Hare, the windmill project is an important one.

“The main reason is that it’s going to generate an income for our community. We have purchased an agreement (that was) signed by the Ontario Power Authority whereby they buy the power we produce,” he said, explaining that this is a 20-year agreement.

The road will be closed today from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Bidwell Road at Rockville Road as larger equipment is used to remove the crane, OPP said.

9 thoughts on “$14M wind turbine crane damaged in rollover on Manitoulin Island

  1. Gaia fights back !! (Cue the final battle from Avatar where nature fights back.)

  2. Mother Earth is speaking. I hope the rest of the delivery and construction goes in the same
    direction as the crane, with no one being hurt or killed.

  3. UPDATE – Just got a call from someone on Manitoulin Island. Every big towing rig on the island is at the site and they can’t move the crane – apparently it’s in a swamp. Should make for some good photo’s !

  4. Same comment as elsewhere:

    Careful with this one. Rejoicing at the misfortune of others never sells well. Keep the comments moderate — or at least no worse. Keep smiling. 🙂

    • It is more a case of rejoicing for the gift that has been given to the local residents. Every turbine free day is a gift and it should be celebrated and savoured. Those days are gone for so many of us who are now TRYING TO live near turbines.

  5. I wonder if the municipality required a damage deposit for any road damage done by the wind
    company. I also wonder what chemicals are running out of the crane into the swamp. I hope
    the MOE will monitor this, or because of McGuinty’s GEA, does it really matter? Never mind the
    environment, IWT will save the world.

  6. I am saddened by the construction of wind turbines there. It is such a lovely place where we have holidayed in the past. I guess we won’t be doing that again. Our grand children will never know the beauty that Manitoulin was. What a shame to build turbines on land named after the Great Manitou.

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