CAMERON - City residents planning to travel on U.S. 250 over the next week should leave early, as they will be sharing the road with a convoy of gas drilling rig equipment.
According to Cameron Police Chief Michael Younger, pieces of the rig will begin traveling on the road at about 8 a.m. Saturday. One rig requires up to 90 vehicles to transport its numerous pieces, which can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds.
The move could take as many as five days, with convoy vehicles only traveling during daylight hours to a Chesapeake Energy site in Pennsylvania. Cameron City Councilman and Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart said the rig is traveling from Pennsylvania into Marshall County via W.Va. 891 before turning onto U.S. 250. The convoy will then move onto Green Valley Road and travel back into Pennsylvania.
While the route may seem odd, Younger said the Pennsylvania roads to the drilling site have many bridges that would be overloaded by the equipment. He added officers from the Cameron Police Department, as well as deputies from the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, will be in the area checking permits and making sure there are no problems.
"We will absolutely be checking permits," Younger said.
He added those permits specify that the company must provide lead vehicle escorts and handle all traffic problems from the trucks.
While any delays in traffic in the area are cause for concern, the situation is further complicated by two big events in the Cameron area this weekend. Hart said three precincts for Saturday's statewide special gubernatorial primary election are located at Cameron Elementary School, which is only a few hundred yards away from U.S. 250.
Additionally, traffic from the tanker task force training being held in Cameron this weekend will be traveling along Green Valley Road as part of their exercises. Because of the increased traffic, Younger said it is important for motorists to stay alert when traveling in the area.
"They need to be aware that there could be very large, oversized vehicles coming up on them," he said.