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Coke Drums to Continue Journey Wednesday

The giant, Chevron-bound coke drums will make their way up Highway 1 through Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and El Segundo on Wednesday night.

The first of three pairs of king-size metal drums will journey from Redondo Beach to Chevron's El Segundo refinery Wednesday night.

The two 500,000-pound coke drums, which resemble tanks, arrived in Redondo Beach on a barge from the Port of Los Angeles Monday morning, said Chevron spokesman Nathan Rearick.

They are both 100 feet long and 28 feet across and were among six that arrived in January aboard a cargo ship from Spain.

The drums will be used as cokers at the nearby Chevron refinery in El Segundo, replacing units installed in 1968. They will be used to heat crude oil to "crack" it and refine different grades of fuel, Rearick said.

From the barges, the cokers were transferred to self-propelled, remote- controlled modular transporters. The move one-fourth mile from Marina Way to Harbor Drive north to Herondo Street, which becomes Anita Street at Pacific Coast Highway, started around 10 p.m. Monday and ended before 11:30 p.m., when they parked on a Southern California Edison lot, he said.

At the holding area on Pacific Coast Highway, they will be transferred to different vehicles that will haul the 28-foot-wide, 28-foot-high loads up PCH and Sepulveda Boulevard to El Segundo starting around 11 p.m. Wednesday, Rearick said.

"It's called a 'California Dollie,' and it's a customized transporter with trucks in front and back like a 'push me-pull you,"' he said. They will move at about two to three miles per hour.

Southern California Edison will rotate street lights in Manhattan Beach during the day Wednesday to make way for the coke drums. Overhead traffic lights will be turned sideways and other temporary adjustments will be made along Highway 1 from Redondo Beach to El Segundo at 10 p.m. Wednesday night, lasting until 5 a.m. Thursday.

The other two pairs of cokers are scheduled to be unloaded on Feb. 25 and March 4, Rearick said. The treks up Pacific Coast Highway and Sepulveda will occur Feb. 27 and March 6.

Once all of the cokers are at the refinery, Chevron will build "the world's largest crane" to take out the old tanks and install the new ones, he said. The old cokers will be torn up and sold for scrap. The project is set for completion in early 2014, Rearick said.

People with questions can call Chevron's hotline at 310-615-5298 or visit cokedrumproject.com.

Coke Drum Transport Timeline (Late Wednesday/Early Thursday):

  • 10:00 p.m. | Road closure on Herondo at the beginning of route to rotate street lights.
  • 11:15 p.m. | First drum begins rolling onto Pacific Coast Highway at Herondo Street at the Redondo Beach/Hermosa Beach border.
  • 11:30 p.m. | Second drum begins rolling onto Pacific Coast Highway at the same location as the first drum.
  • 12:00 a.m. | Drums reach intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Aviation Boulevard.
  • 1:00 a.m. | Drums reach intersection of Sepulveda and Manhattan Beach boulevards.
  • 2:00 a.m. | Drums turn west from Sepulveda Boulevard onto Rosecrans Avenue.
  • 2:45 a.m. | First drum enters the Chevron refinery at intersection of Pacific Avenue and Rosecrans Avenue.
  • 3:15 a.m. | Second drum enters Chevron refinery at same location as first drum.
  • 5:00 a.m. | Any closed roads reopen to traffic by 5 a.m at the latest.

Previously:

  • Chevron Coke Drum Transport to Affect Beach Cities
  • Coke Drums Roll Through Redondo

—Editor Nicole Mooradian contributed to this report.

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