Update: 4:30 pm, 5/16/17, Tuesday
URBANA — The crane which crashed on I-74 Monday night took hours to clear. Crews said they faced some big challenges.
A regular towing company couldn’t handle the weight of the crane at first, so extra help had to be called on. The biggest challenge was getting the crane upright so it could be towed off the freeway.
The crane company says it took a lot of time and a lot of heavy lifting. The crane weighed about 80,000 pounds. Two additional cranes had to brought in to lift it.
It took a half-hour to set up and another hour to move the crane off the road. Crews say they had to be careful so the rotator didn’t swing and cause more accidents.
Workers say they also had to prevent oil and hydrolic fluid spills when lifting the crane. Traffic was stopped for about six hours, but once it was righted and towed away, I-74 reopened about 12:30 am, Tuesday.
Nash Crane is one of the few crane companies in the area. Owners say it’s rare to get calls like this and Monday night was the first time they had to lift something this heavy off the interstate.
Original: 10:00 pm, 5/15/17, Monday
URBANA — Drivers were slowed to a halt when a crane tipped over in the middle of the road. It happened on I-74 west about 6:30 pm, between the University and Cunningham avenue exits.
Crews had to bring a truck from Tolono to lift the crane offf the ground to get it to stand upright again.
When the crane tipped over, it immediately stopped traffic. First responders said there was a line of dozens of trucks backed up with no place to go or turn around.
Those drivers were standing outside for hours waiting for the all-clear.
“Yeah this is probably the heaviest piece of equipment that we’ve seen turned over on the interstate. They’re estimating that it weighs about 80,000 pounds,” said Urbana Fire Division Chief Derrick Odle.
Odle said they were able to get all the cars rerouted and off the interstate pretty quickly.