Under questioning from Laird Lucas, attorney with Advocates for the West representing megaloads opponents, ITD official Reymundo Rodriguez said the department was advised the ExxonMobil is reducing the loads already in Lewiston so they can travel by a different route, rather than on U.S. Highway 12. “But it doesn't seem to me practical for them to reduce it when they're still ending up the same width as they were before,” Rodriguez said. “We've been told it's 2,000 to 4,000 man-hours and it costs $500,000 a module.” ITD didn't investigate those estimates, he said. “We went on their expertise, as far as I know.”
In its brief submitted for the hearing, Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil wrote, “Even though Imperial is physically able to disassemble each modular unit at substantial cost, that does not mean the units are 'reducible.' … This effort is and continues to be a substantial and costly undertaking by Imperial and it is estimated that it will cost in excess of $500,000 and significant man-hours to reduce the heights of each module unit. Thereafter, the unit will have to be reassembled when it reaches its destination.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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