Intel is trucking a 916,000-pound 'Super Load' across Ohio to its new fab, spawning road closures over nine days

Ohio Department of Transportation
(Image credit: Ohio Department of Transportation)

Ohio is seeing the effects of Intel's growth, but maybe not in the way state officials had hoped. Intel will put a 916,000-pound "super load" on the road in Ohio on Wednesday, for a trip that will cover approximately 150 miles in nine days and snarl traffic for over a week. The price of progress!

Intel's new campus coming to New Albany, OH, is in heavy construction, and around 20 super loads are being ferried across Ohio's roads by the Ohio Department of Transportation after arriving at a port of the Ohio River via barge. Four of these loads, including the one hitting the road now, weigh around 900,000 pounds — that's 400 metric tons, or 76 elephants. The super loads were first planned for February but were delayed due to the immense planning workload. Large crowds are estimated to accumulate on the route, potentially slowing it even further.

Intel's 916,000-pound shipment is a "cold box," a self-standing air-processor structure that facilitates the cryogenic technology needed to fabricate semiconductors. The box is 23 feet tall, 20 feet wide, and 280 feet long, nearly the length of a football field. The immense scale of the cold box necessitates a transit process that moves at a "parade pace" of 5-10 miles per hour.

There's a lot of moving parts to it. It's not just jump in a truck and go

Matt Bruning, ODOT press secretary

Intel is taking over southern Ohio's roads for the next several weeks and months as it builds its new Ohio One Campus, a $28 billion project to create a 1,000-acre campus with two chip factories and room for more. Calling it the new "Silicon Heartland," the project will be the first leading-edge semiconductor fab in the American Midwest, and once operational, will get to work on the "Angstrom era" of Intel processes, 20A and beyond. Beyond bringing jobs to the region, Intel seeks to make nice with Ohio by investing millions into local schools and universities to provide local students with the tools to grow up to work at the foundries.

The cold box and the other super loads to come after it required immense planning from ODOT. "There's a lot of moving parts to it. It's not just jump in a truck and go from point A to point B," said Matt Bruning, ODOT press secretary. "There's a lot of planning and coordination and analysis that goes with doing a move like that." The Department of Transportation has been planning the route for months, ensuring that bridges and roadways could handle the loads coming for them. Power lines were moved underground or extended so work crews could lift them over the loads. 

The Ohio Department of Transportation has shared a timetable for how long they will be dealing with the super loads. Bruning shared that other companies are piggybacking on the super load route plans now that accommodations have already been made. "It is kind of abnormal to see this many in this close succession. Usually, you have a couple, and you may not see another load like that for years," he said. The summer of road closures is here for Ohio, thanks to Intel.

Dallin Grimm
Contributing Writer

Dallin Grimm is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware. He has been building and breaking computers since 2017, serving as the resident youngster at Tom's. From APUs to RGB, Dallin has a handle on all the latest tech news. 

  • evdjj3j
    280 feet is not longer than 100 yards.
  • peachpuff
    Four of these loads, including the one hitting the road now, weigh around 900,000 pounds, 400 metric tons, or 76 elephants.
    Adult or baby sized elephants?
  • rluker5
    A typical semi is limited to 80,000lbs. in the US, 900,000lbs isn't a trivial task to run down the road.
    Lot of work being done. Can't be cheap.
  • parkerthon
    I can’t imagine this doesn’t cause damage to the roads or is this what they are dealing with? That much weight is intense on pavement. Hopefully some of the spectators shoot video and post on youtube so I can see this spectacle. ODOT themselves should share more. I love this sort of thing.
  • Notton
    They use special trailer trucks that are designed to distribute the load. AFAIK they don't exceed the axle load limit for the road they travel on, and they move slowly so the wear and tear on the road is not as high as you'd think.
    It's pretty fun to watch these on youtube from an aerial time lapse

  • TechieTwo
    These very long transports have many axles/wheels to distribute the load. The real problem is the width, height and length.
  • Gillerer
    peachpuff said:
    Adult or baby sized elephants?
    African or Indian elephants?

    A number of regular fully-loaded semi trucks would have been a far more effective analogue; Not only do very few people have an instinct for how much elephants weigh, African elephants are much heavier than Indian ones (~1.6×).

    (Brings to mind Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the discussion on various species of swallows and their respective coconut-carrying capacities.)
  • Eximo
    But then again African Elephants are non-migratory.
  • Neilbob
    It's a power supply. Just the one.
  • Amdlova
    The truck willdestroy less the road than a tesla car with a fat family inside.