Highway 34 in Grand Island reopens after closure

    Highway 34 in Grand Island reopens after closure (NTV News)

    A large trailer carrying a boiler broke Saturday afternoon as it was headed to Denver.

    The trailer broke while driving westbound on Highway 34 in Grand Island.

    The incident caused travel delays for over 24 hours. According to authorities, all lanes were blocked on the roadway between Stuhr and Shady Bend Road closing Highway 34.

    The Nebraska State Patrol, Nebraska Department of Transportation and MRL Crane Services of Grand Island worked together to get the roadway clear.

    "Their trailer failed and actually broke in two, said MRL Crane owner Mike Lilienthal. "So, we tried to do some repairs last night and weren't successful," he said.

    Lilienthan said his team went back out Sunday with a plan to remove the trailer and boiler, and they were successful.

    "Today we went back with two large cranes, the boiler weighed about 150,000 lbs, they sent another trailer up from Oklahoma City, said Lilienthal. "We took it off the old trailer and set it on the ground, waited until the new trailer got here and set it on the new trailer and now they'll wait for permits until tomorrow and then they'll continue on to Denver," he said.

    The 150,000 pound boiler seems like a lot of weight but according to NSP the combination of the trailer and the boiler was 233,000 pounds.

    Lilienthal says he's been in business for over 30 years and never seen anything like this.

    "It's very unusual that an equipment would fail in transport," said Lilienthal.

    According to MRL Crane workers, there were no injuries and no property or road damage. The company who owns the split trailer will work to repair it, and the boiler will be onto its destination as quick as possible.

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