General Electric uses Great Bend transload facility for wind turbines

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GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) — Construction is still taking place at Great Bend’s Transload facility, but that doesn’t mean it’s not open for business.

Watco Supply Chain Services, one of the facility’s partners, announced that General Electric will be delivering wind turbine components to store at the facility.

“We reached out to our supply chains services group within Watco companies and they felt that they could absolutely handle it, and then it’s been a pretty quick moving process since then,” said Casey Harbour, K&O Railroad marketing manager.

The wind blades will be transported by both rail and truck, starting tonight. The towers will be delivered starting next week.

Crews don’t know how long the components will be stored at the facility.

“They could be out there for five years or they could be out there for six months,” said Paul Williams, rail operations manager for Watco.

The wind turbine parts will be stored on land leased by the city. Officials said this is the beginning to future growth and economic impact for the community.

“The city is going to reap a huge benefit from that, by the leasing of that land, out at the industrial airport near the rail,” said Jan Peters, president of Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development.

City officials said the facility has become well-known among companies, and they expect more of them to use the facility’s services. Until that next project,  city officials say they will continue working to make it a premier shipping hub.

In preparation for the deliveries, crews have been working with city and county roads departments, law enforcement and KDOT to ensure safety measures are in place during the transportation process.

Officials expect an impact on local roads and crossings. The wind turbine blades will come from the south on Highway 56, with minimal traffic on 10th Street. However, it will impact traffic on Airport Road and 8th Street in the Industrial Park area. The city also expects train traffic at the rail crossing at the intersection of Highway 156 and 56, near Straub International.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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