WKYT - Richmond - Headlines

Wide load: Look out for large vessel headed to army depot

Local law enforcement officials will be escorting Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) transportation crews onto central Kentucky roadways this weekend and into early next week as they move a large, empty vessel to the BGCAPP construction site at the Blue Grass Army Depot.

The heavy-haul convoy will consist of police personnel, a 200-foot-long tractor trailer (greater in length than two basketball courts) carrying the vessel, and both lead and trailing vehicles. Traffic control points will be maintained at key intersections to ensure public and convoy safety.

The convoy will slowly enter Lexington from Martha Layne Collins Blue Grass Parkway and onto U.S. Highway 60, then travel along Man O War Boulevard and onto Interstate Highway 75.

The convoy will enter Richmond from Interstate Highway 75 and travel along state Route 876 (Eastern Kentucky University By-Pass). The convoy will then travel along state Route 52 and onto the Blue Grass Army Depot.

The vessel is concluding a 1,800-mile journey from southeastern Idaho following a year-long fabrication, rigorous testing and painting effort before shipment to central Kentucky. Since departing Idaho in mid January, the transportation crews and vessel have traveled through Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee en route to Kentucky.

The vessel, nearly 50-feet tall and weighing nearly 100 tons, is made of high-grade, solid carbon steel measuring 2-inches thick. During plant operations, the vessel will house inert nitrogen gas which will serve an instrumental role at BGCAPP as it will ensure that a combustion-free environment is maintained as the Blue Grass chemical weapons stockpile is safely and efficiently destroyed.

The BGCAPP is being built to safely and efficiently destroy a stockpile of chemical weapons currently in storage at the Blue Grass Army Depot. The plant will destroy 523 tons of munitions containing blister and nerve agents. Currently, the pilot plant is under construction and work is progressing on a variety of facilities to support chemical demilitarization operations.

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