Wind Tunnel Moved from Didcot to Grove

People living between Didcot and Grove could be blowing hot and cold on Sunday when a wind tunnel breezes into the new headquarters of Williams Grand Prix.

The A34 between Marcham and Chilton will be closed and some homes in the area may be without power or telephones for a short time in the morning.

An 11-lorry convoy carrying sections of the wind tunnel and its equipment will travel from Williams’ old premises in Didcot and assemble near the Milton interchange.

The 7.5m height of the tallest section prevents it passing under the A34 bridge so the convoy will travel up a slip road and cross the central reservation before driving down the other side and will take the A4130 to Steventon and East Hanney before passing along the A338 to Grove.

The A34 will be closed between 2am and 4am, to cause as little disruption as possible, according to a spokesman for the Highways Agency, which planned the move with Williams, the police and local councils.

A spokesman for Williams Grand Prix said: “Electricity and telephone to some homes and businesses along the route will be interrupted because cables crossing roads may have to be taken down temporarily.”

The 10-mile move of the £4.5m 165-ton structure has taken seven months for planning, one month for dismantling and it will take another month for installation and commissioning.

The tunnel is one of the fastest and most accurate in the world. When operating at its maximum speed of about 200mph it would be using one million watts – about the same power as all the homes in Grove when the Sunday joint is cooking.

It is ironic that the 10-mile move will take four hours, about twice as long as Williams stars Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve will take to race the 200 miles at Nurburgring, Germany, later the same day.

27/4/96 – Oxford Mail

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