A massive North Sea oil towhead blocked a street in a residential area of Caithness for most of yesterday.
The 240-tonne structure was being transported from Wick Harbour to Subsea 7’s yard at Bridge of Wester by Allelys Heavy Haulage when a rear axle on the trailer broke.
The vehicle moving the towhead, which had been landed at Wick by barge, had already managed to negotiate the steep brae at Scalesburn, along Willowbank and made a 90 degree turn into Girnigoe Street.
But it got into trouble on the next 90-degree turn into Henrietta Street.
It was unable to get around the bend and had to reverse back into Girnigoe Street, where the towhead was jacked up and placed on steel frames, totally blocking the road until a replacement trailer arrived.
This was reversed under the towhead, which then had to be securely tied down before it could continue on its journey.
A similar problem occurred about a month ago on the same bend. But lessons didn’t appear to have been learned.
On the previous occasion, one of the front ends of the towhead came up against a lamp head while turning from Girnigoe Street into Henrietta Street.
And, as it transpired, the towhead that became stranded on the Wick street yesterday had already encountered problems on its journey.
The barge carrying it and another towhead had to return to Invergordon in Easter Ross when one of its tow ropes broke on arrival at Wick Harbour.
The other towhead was successfully transported without incident on Saturday.
They will be hooked up to long pipe lines and in due course, towed to a Premier Oil field in the North Sea, where they will be used to house communications and power connections.