PHOENIX - What weighs 285 tons, moves uphill at 15 mph and takes eight days to travel from Hoover Dam to the mining town of Miami, east of Phoenix? It's a huge anode used in the electrical process for refining copper.
The largest oversized load to cross the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge will enter Arizona from Nevada this week and start a 380-mile journey that's expected to create significant travel delays for some drivers who wind up traveling behind it.
A Phoenix-based hauling company, Precision Heavy Haul, is carrying the anode on a specially-designed truck and trailer rig stretching 225 feet long. The oversized load started its trip from Salt Lake City on Aug. 2.
It is now scheduled to cross the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge just after midnight Tuesday morning and continue a slow trek to its destination - the Freeport-McMoRan mine in Miami - about 80 miles east of downtown Phoenix.
Motorists should expect delays in the vicinity of the oversized load, which will take up to two lanes, and will be escorted by Department of Public Safety officers and pilot cars. There will be no traffic impacts for weekend travelers.
A complete travel schedule is below.
Tuesday - Cross Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge between 12:30-1 a.m. on U.S. 93 heading toward Kingman, where it will continue to Interstate 40. I-40 at milepost 42 south of Kingman will close at 5:30 a.m. to allow the heavy load to enter the eastbound side of the highway.
Wednesday - Depart at 6 a.m. from Kingman area, traveling east on I-40 and then south on U.S. 93 to north of Wickenburg.
Thursday - Depart at 6 a.m. from Wickenburg area and travel east on U.S. 60, then east on State Route 74 (Carefree Highway) before stopping near the I-17/Highway 74 junction.
Friday - Depart I-17/Highway 74 junction at midnight and travel to Fountain Hills via Scottsdale Road, Dynamite Boulevard, Rio Verde Road, Forest Road, McDowell Mountain Road, Saguaro Boulevard and Shea Boulevard.
Aug. 15 - Depart at 3 a.m. from Fountain Hills, traveling north on Highway 87 and then southeast on Highway 188 to Tonto Basin.
Aug. 16 - Depart at 6 a.m. from the Tonto Basin, traveling southeast on Highway 188 and then west on U.S. 60 to New Street (mine entrance).
Freeway and highway conditions across Arizona are available via ADOT's Travel Information site at www.az511.gov or by calling 5-1-1 within the state.