CHESTER | For the second time this year, residents have a chance to gather along the town's roadways and watch a big visitor come through.

A huge transformer is scheduled to pass through Chester this week en route to a Public Service of New Hampshire's Scobie Pond substation facility in Londonderry, part of a four-leg journey that was set to begin Tuesday night at the coast in Seabrook, traveling various routes toward its final destination.

The slow move through town is set for Friday night, beginning somewhere around 8 or 9 p.m. The schedule is tentative and can change due to need or the weather.

Signs are already flashing along Route 102 in Chester, warning drivers of the big move on Friday and road closure times, so motorists can prepare and find alternate routes in and out of town while the transformer is moving.

The transformer is 16-feet high, 12-feet wide and weighs 600,000 pounds. The rig that will carry the transformer is about 234-feet long and includes a 93,000-pound tractor that pulls two, 12-axle trailers. The combined weight of the entire rig, including the transformer, is about 1.1 million pounds. The $4 million, 345,000-volt transformer is part of a $19 million upgrade at the Scobie Pond facility.

In March, Chester residents watched another massive transformer slowly crawl through town on its way to the Granite Ridge power plant on Litchfield Road in Londonderry, closing the main Route 102 thoroughfare through town while the equipment and its parade of accompanying vehicles passed.

This time, the rig's four-day, approximately 3 mph. journey will continue all week, with scheduled times for the move taking place at night, around 8 or 9 p.m. and into the overnight hours to avoid interfering with normal daily traffic. The transformer, its tractor trailer and entourage will stop for layovers at three approved sites during daylight hours, including the stop at Chester's New Hampshire Department of Transportation maintenance yard at the Chester/Raymond town line area.

After leaving Chester, the transformer will head west on Route 102 to Route 28, then to its final destination.

Chester police Chief William Burke said it may take several hours to get the transformer from one end of town to the other, possibly up to four hours or more.

"It's a slow process," he said.

Burke said with the road closure signs in place already, he hopes people will take time this week to plan alternate routes to get in and around Chester while the transformer is moving through Friday night.

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