Big Vessel Crosses Kentucky

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Updated: 2/20/2012 11:37 pm
     "That's something to see in a lifetime right there," says Sidney Rawlins.

     After traveling more than 1,800 miles across 7 states, this 200-foot long tractor trailer carrying a 100-ton, 50-foot tall empty steel vessel finally crossed into Kentucky Monday.   Because it's so massive, the tractor trailer could only travel about 10 to 30 miles per hour, it took 20 days to get to its final destination at the Bluegrass Army Depot.
 
     "This vessel was constructed in Idaho.  They had this specialty manufacturing and testing facilities to do that work," explains Jeffrey Brubaker, the site project manager for the Bluegrass Chemical Agent Destruction Plant.

     The empty vessel will eventually be used at the Bluegrass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant to help ensure safety while disposing of 523 tons of aging chemical weapons.  Right now, that plant is still under construction, it's expected to be finished in 2015.

     "These are materials that the Department of Defense decided that they no longer need and they need to be safely disposed of," comments Tom McKinney, the project manager for the systems contractor, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass.

     "A few years from now, as we get ready to start destroying the agent, this tank will actually serve as a storage vessel for nitrogen.  We use nitrogen to support the process. We use it to control combustible environments in the plant.  So, it's a very important part of our safety," says Brubaker.

     And, many people came out to see the big vessel travel across the state.  Sidney Rawlins brought his grandson Zachry Anglin to Richmond to get a glimpse of it.

     "It's cool.  I think it's cool.  I think they'll take care of everything, everything will be alright but it's a little scary though but I believe everything will be okay," comments Rawlins.

     "It was so cool, like, the big, giant vessel, just driving through the Bypass with all the police following it and it was just cool," explains Anglin.

     And Anglin says it's probably his last chance to see something "cool" like this.

     "Richmond don't have a lot of big things going on," comments Anglin.

     The Bluegrass Army Depot says it will start destroying the aging chemical weapons in 2018.  The entire project is expected to cost around $4.5 to $5 billion.
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