2001 article detailing a move out of East Chicago, IN.

The move included a very detailed route survey that led the team to organizing, bucket trucks, civilian escorts and police escorts.


BY SHARON PORTA Times Correspondent

Bob Howell, of Trans United Co., directs driver Frank Hornbeak onto an entrance ramp during a trip from Cline Avenue to Ispat Inland on Thursday. Hornbeak was hauling the 25-by-25-foot tank fabricated by Vidimos of East Chicago. (Jerome Lee / The Times)  


EAST CHICAGO — The tank moved with the grace of an elephant in a china shop as it slowly made its way five miles down Michigan Avenue on Thursday morning.

The 25-by-25-foot stack tank, fabricated by Vidimos of East Chicago, took about a month to build. Yet it seemed to take almost that long to get the tank out of the plant, as those involved in the move held their breath.

After being loaded onto a truck, the tank left Vidimos about 10 a.m. Thursday and began its slow, wobbly journey to Ispat Inland. While the road isn’t heavily traveled, except for truck traffic moving in and out of the mill, the move was still accompanied by dozens of assistants, all moving power and telephone lines, and manning cranes to lift signs out of the way.

“Vidimos called us and asked if we thought it could be done,” said Wes Marlin, who is in charge of special moves for Trans United Co. of Burns Harbor. “We went out there and looked at the lay of the land and found the obvious problems, telephone and cable lines, signs, that kind of thing.”

Trans United specializes in oversize and overweight moves.

“This is larger than we normally move, but it would be even harder if it were going a longer distance,” said Scott Ness, of Trans United. “We’ll be moving slow, it should take awhile to make it the five miles down Michigan Avenue.”

The move ended up taking several hours. Every few feet, the truck hauling the load had to stop, waiting for the tank to steady itself. As the tank moved down the street, telephone and NIPSCO crews were on standby. Wires were dropped in anticipation of the tank extra tall clearance, and then immediately put back up.

Crews went out early in the morning and removed bolts from signs. Then cranes lifted the huge expressway entrance signs, plopping them back in place after the tank had cleared. At some points, the tank was barely able to squeeze by.

After making its way five miles down Michigan, security for Ispat Inland had to meet the tank and then block all of the traffic exiting Inland.

“We had to use the outbound lanes,” Ness said. “The inbound traffic has a bridge that is too low. We would never have been able to make it.”

The move was accompanied by police cars and fire trucks, and an ambulance was on hand.

“I don’t know what this is costing,” Ness said. “But it will all be part of the bill that Vidimos gives to Inland.”




Article excerpted from the Hammond Times, June 29, 2001