As stated in a guest column January 18, 2018, Everpower has submitted an amendment to the industrial wind farm planned for Champaign County. The amendment proposes changes to the turbine model to be used, the turbine access roads, the design of the collection lines, the location of the collection substation, and the highway routes to be used for delivery of cranes, concrete trucks, and the turbine blades, hubs, nacelles, and towers. The purpose of this letter is to state some of the construction impacts to our community.
Champaign County roads that will carry the parts and supplies are Ludlow, Urbana-Woodstock, Perry, N. Parkview, Bullard-Rutan, Yankee Hill, and N. Mutual Union. In addition, US Route 36 and state Routes 814, 296, 56, 29, 4, 161, and 559 all may be used. Some of the delivery vehlcles with their loads are projected to be 234 feet long; some can exceed 380,000 pounds; and some will be up to 15.2 feet high.
The Everpower amendment admits that our roads will present delivery problems. Utility poles, signs and mailboxes must be moved; road beds, bridges and culverts must be reinforced; intersections and curves must be widened, in some cases onto private property; and existing drainage pipes and/or culverts must be extended. The amendment estimates the following number of road trips during construction: 2,800 for gravel trucks, 3,200 for concrete trucks, and 825 for turbine parts. In addition, equipment and personnel must be transported.
Needless to say, our roads will never be the same. Then, after living through the construction period, we will contend with 20-30 years of shadow flicker, noise (both audible and not), bird and bat kill, and ice throw due to 50 500-foot spinning towers in the midst of our homes and community.