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Eye On Boise

Test megaload delayed again…

The “test validation module” for 200-plus Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil Highway 12 megaloads will stay where it is - in a chain-up area at milepost 169.1, about five miles west of the Montana state line on Highway 12 - until at least Monday night, ITD has announced, due to “potential inclement weather.” Weather permitting, it'll head into Montana Monday night or early Tuesday morning, the transportation department said.

Meanwhile, as the contested-case hearing on permits for the giant loads continued in Boise today, several ITD officials testified and were questioned by both sides. Attorneys for megaloads opponents quizzed them about delays and problems with the three megaloads that already have traveled on the route, while the officials maintained the projects were under control; the permits don't permit traffic to be delayed by the giant loads for more than 15 minutes, but those loads caused numerous longer delays. Also today, Highway 12 resident Vickie Garcia testified and showed a video of the confusion as a megaload traveled up the route. The hearing will continue on Friday. At issue is whether the oil company should get the go-ahead to ship its giant loads across the Idaho route from the Port of Lewiston to Montana, then up to Canada for the Alberta oil sands project.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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