Eye On Boise

MONDAY, AUG. 8, 2011, 2:22 P.M.

New route: Mini-megaloads could rumble through Spokane on the freeway

Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil has announced that some of its controversial megaloads, instead of traveling a scenic route in Idaho, may instead rumble through Spokane on U.S. Highway 395 and I-90. The company said “lengthy permitting delays” for the original route across scenic U.S. Highway 12 from Lewiston, Idaho to Montana, then north through Montana to Canada, have forced it to look at alternative routes, though it still will pursue the Highway 12 route.

“We have met or exceeded the requirements typically imposed on other oversize load shippers that have used the U.S. 12 route,” said Chris Allard, Kearl senior project manager for the oil company. “We will continue to pursue the permits for those full-sized modules through Idaho and Montana, which is more efficient and cost effective. However, we will also move forward with alternative routes to maintain project schedules.” The firm already has cut down 33 of the giant loads of Korean-manufactured oil field equipment at the Port of Lewiston so they can be transported up U.S. Highway 95, then along I-90 from Coeur d’Alene to Montana and then up I-15 to Alberta, Canada. There, the equipment will be used in the giant Kearl oil sands project in northern Alberta

Now, it's identified an additional alternative route for similarly reduced-size loads: From the Port of Pasco, Wash., by truck on U.S. 395 in Washington and along I-90 through Washington, Idaho and Montana, then north on I-15 to the Canadian border. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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