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Eye On Boise

Thu., Aug. 26, 2010, 3:58 p.m.

North Idaho bridge construction still on hold as oil company seeks permits for big loads

Emmert International, the contractor for ConocoPhillips tasked with hauling the four huge loads of refinery equipment bound for Montana via U.S. Highway 12, still is paying McAlvain Construction, the contractor for the state who's repaving the Arrow Bridge, to hold off on starting paving on the bridge's second lane, ITD confirmed today. The oil company had planned to ship its oversize loads, which will take up both lanes of the bridge, in a narrow window between completion of paving of one lane, and the start of paving of the second. That window technically closed Monday, but Emmert has been paying McAlvain since then to "stand down" as it attempts to get permits to move the loads; an appeal now has been filed to the Idaho Supreme Court. If the loads don't go now, the next time both lanes of the bridge will be open is October.

Jeff Stratten, ITD spokesman, said, "The bridge is scheduled to be completed in late October. The Idaho Transportation Department is not adjusting the completion date. The contractor could make up for the suspension of work by adding or extending shifts and adding additional workers."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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