Trailer with refinery equipment can’t make it through Flossmoor viaduct

A truck hauling refinery equipment is parked in the
northbound side of Governors Highway after the driver
realized the equipment would not fit through the
Metra viaduct on Flossmoor Road.
(Photo by Tom
Houlihan/HF Chronicle)


A truck pulling a giant piece of equipment to an Indiana oil refinery had to be re-routed through a Flossmoor neighborhood Tuesday morning when the driver realized his cargo would not be able to clear the Metra viaduct.

The trailer and its cargo — a heat exchanger bound for the BP refinery in Whiting — reaches a full height of 15 feet, 11 inches, Deputy Police Chief Tod Kamleiter said. The Flossmoor Road viaduct has a total height of 11 feet, four inches.

Kamleiter said the incident began at about 8:30 a.m. when the driver turned off Governors Highway east onto Flossmoor Road. The Illinois Department of Transportation had given the driver a permit to transport the huge piece of equipment and had provided a route, which indicated he should turn onto Flossmoor Road. The permit allowed the truck and trailer to exceed weight restrictions; the total weight came to 172,000 pounds, Kamleiter said.

However, the driver realized that there was no way that his cargo would be able to make it through the Flossmoor Road viaduct. He stopped his rig in front of Infant Jesus of Prague School, less than one block from the Flossmoor Police Station.

Kamleiter said the driver was unable to turn around. Police arrived on the scene and the decision was made to re-route the truck and its cargo through the neighborhood just to the south of the school. Chief Michael Pulec directed the re-routing, assisted by Kamleiter, six Flossmoor officers and one Homewood officer.

The truck was directed down Leavitt Avenue, then west on Hawthorne Lane and north on Douglas Avenue back to Flossmoor Road. Kamleiter said it was a tight squeeze. A few parked cars had to be moved and some signs were taken down. There was damage to parkways along the route.

Finally, the truck and its cargo were directed back to Governors Highway where, later that morning, they were parked just north of Flossmoor Road.

Kamleiter said the trucking company needs to re-apply for an IDOT permit to continue the trip to the Whiting refinery.

“It might be there for a couple of days,” he said.

No traffic citations were issued in the incident.

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