Precious Cargo: BLP Engines arrive on land

MARQUETTE — The process of moving the Marquette Energy Center’s engines from water to land began Thursday afternoon on the shores of Lake Superior.

Just after 3:00 p.m., officials with Wartsila, the Marquette Board of Light and Power and Vic’s Cranes and Heavy Haul Incorporated out of Minneapolis unloaded the first of three engines. People of all ages showed up to the intersection of Lakeshore and Pine to watch it all unfold.

According to BLP Board Member Jerry Irby, everything went according to plan when crews moved the first engine off the barge and onto the street.

“Everything that we did has proven that the engineering is perfect and it came off without a hitch,” said Irby. “It’s like having babies. The first baby is always the hardest and after that it gets easier. These are our babies,” Irby added.

Officials plan to have all three engines unloaded and sitting on Wright Street by the end of Thursday. Each engine weighs approximately three tons.

Beginning Friday at 10:00 p.m., crews will move two of the engines to the Marquette Board of Light and Power at a whooping speed of 2.2 mph. The third engine will be moved to its new location on Saturday.