Idaho will let the four ConocoPhillips megaloads of oil equipment start traveling U.S. Highway 12 on Monday, Idaho Transportation Director Brian Ness announced today. "I am convinced the record showed the loads can be moved safely, without damage to the roads and bridges and with minimal disruption to traffic and emergency services," Ness said. "Every argument has been heard and considered. We can no longer delay this process."
Ness sided with a state hearing officer who backed the loads after a day and a half of testimony and arguments last month. Opponents, including residents and businesses along the scenic route in north-central Idaho, said the extra-large loads, which will take up both lanes of the twisting, two-lane road, threatened tourism, safety and travel in the area.
"I will not comment further on this case because litigation is possible and the similarities because of the pending request from Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil to transport oversized loads on U.S. 12," Ness said. The permits for the ConocoPhillips loads, which consist of two giant coker drums cut in half, will be issued for travel starting on Monday, Ness said, weather permitting. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.