Set up where freight depot used to be, heavy-lifting operation moves mill parts to Alabama

  • Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 12:18 a.m.
A 550-ton crane (yellow) and a 275-ton crane (white) work in tandem to lift a piece of an idled mill Norandal of Salisbury is sending to a company in Alabama. The work is taking place near North Lee and Henderson streets where the Salisbury Freight Depot once was.
A 550-ton crane (yellow) and a 275-ton crane (white) work in tandem to lift a piece of an idled mill Norandal of Salisbury is sending to a company in Alabama. The work is taking place near North Lee and Henderson streets where the Salisbury Freight Depot once was.

Plenty of heads have been turning in recent days at all the activity going on next to the railroad tracks at North Lee and Henderson streets, in a staging area that used to hold the Salisbury Freight Depot.

The Norandal plant in Salisbury is relying on AME to move an idle mill and all of its associated parts to another company in Alabama.


“Several years ago,” says John Parker, vice president of communications and investor relations with Noranda, the parent company, “we purchased a mothballed mill from another company to be used for possible expansion.

“Subsequent to our purchase of that mill, it remained disassembled in storage at our Salisbury site. During second quarter 2012, we sold that idle mill equipment to another company. The activity you are now seeing is the moving of that mill to its new home.”

Jim Jarvis, project manager for AME, says he has been working on the move and obtaining all the transportation permits, clearances and schedules since last August. He estimated that some 70 to 80 loads have gone by tractor-trailer already.

Heavier pieces too big for the highways must be shipped by rail, and that’s where the 550-ton and 275-ton cranes on the old depot site come into play, lifting the steel parts onto rail cars.

AME, of Fort Mill, S.C., is a company that solves complex moving problems. To help with this project, AME has hired J.E. Ostwalt & Sons, which also has a lot of experience in heavy hauling.

Jarvis said he expects to be on the old depot site for about another week.

The Norandal plant in Salisbury produces light-gauge aluminum sheet and foil products for packaging; heating and air-conditioned; and food containers.

— Mark Wineka, Salisbury Post

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