Traffic alert for Monday as a gigantic transformer finds new home

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COLORADO SPRINGS – Traffic alert for overnight Monday. A quarter million pound electrical transformer will creep along Academy Boulevard to its final destination. After traveling more than 1,000 miles by rail from Wisconsin, it’s the last 12 miles that may cause traffic delays for drivers in Colorado Springs.

Route that the transformer will take overnight Sunday. Courtesy of Colorado Springs Utilities

The transformer move was originally scheduled for Sunday night, but has been rescheduled to Monday night.

Starting at midnight near Astrozon Boulevard and Drennan Road, a 96-wheel trailer will carry the transformer to Colorado Springs Utilities’ Cottonwood Substation, located north of the Woodmen Road and Stinson Road intersection. The police-escorted move is expected to be completed by 5 a.m. Tuesday.

In this photo taken Monday afternoon, crews prepare the transformer to be moved. / Shawn Shanle – FOX21 News

The two million dollar new transformer will replace a 45 year-old version. The old one will be used as part of the utility’s emergency spare strategy.  A spare transformer program is a key part of preparation for, and rapid recovery from, severe natural and man-made disasters.

“Typically when moving one this large we may have to release the tethers on the stop lights then reattach immediately after the truck goes through,” said Andrew Latrell with the Colorado Springs Utilities. “This will be moving slow but it should be easy enough if you ended up behind it or in front of it to just transition over to an alternate route.”

Transformers are devices used in electrical circuits to change the voltage of electricity flowing in the circuit. Transformers can be used either to increase the voltage to maintain power quality over miles of transmission lines or decrease the voltage for the use in homes and businesses.

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