The Idaho Transportation Department has issued the first two permits for “mini-megaloads” of oil equipment to travel up U.S. Highway 95 from Lewiston to Coeur d'Alene, where they'll turn onto I-90 to Montana and Canada; read my full story here at spokesman.com.
The two could start moving as soon as a June 27, a week from Monday. They're among 33 giant loads of oil field equipment, bound for the Alberta oil sands, that have been stalled in Lewiston for months, awaiting permits to travel on scenic, twisting U.S. Highway 12 to Montana. Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil has been cutting those loads in half, reducing their height but not their length or width, to allow them to travel on the interstate.
“Based on review by the department's traffic and bridge engineers, we believe the modules can be moved safely (with) minimal impact on traffic and emergency services,” said Alan Frew, Division of Motor Vehicles administrator for ITD. Click below for ITD's full announcement.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ITD issues permits for transport of overlegal loads on U.S. 95, Interstate 90
BOISE - The Idaho Transportation Department today (June 17) issued the first two permits for Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil to transport overlegal loads on U.S. 95 and Interstate 90.
Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil will work with the city of Moscow to coordinate the trimming of 25 trees in the community before beginning transports to allow the loads to pass safely. The city requested the company to have an overlegal permit from the transportation department before tree trimming starts.
The permits will allow the two shipments to begin moving Monday, June 27. One shipment will be a half-module that weighs 410,300 pounds, is 23.2 feet wide, 208 feet long and 13.6 feet high, including the truck and trailer. The second shipment will include parts of a module. That shipment is 14 feet wide and will not require two lanes for travel so it will be authorized to move during the day.
Future shipments, including the truck and trailer, are expected to be 24 feet wide, 15 feet 10 inches high, 208 feet long and weigh 432,721 pounds. Permits for those have not been issued.
Three nights will be required to move each of the larger modules. Initially, only one module will be allowed on the route at a time. In the future, more than one load might be allowed on the highway at one time, depending on how well the first shipment proceeds.
ITD's Division of Motor Vehicles Administrator Alan Frew said Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil's traffic control plan and trailer configuration met the state's requirements to issue a permit.
“Based on reviews by the department’s traffic and bridge engineers, we believe the modules can be moved safely and with minimal impact on traffic and emergency services,” Frew said.
Below is a summary of the travel requirements:
· Travel will be restricted to between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.
· Travel on the first night will be from the Port of Lewiston to milepost 372.7 on U.S. 95, a distance of 59.7 miles.
· Travel on the second night will be from U.S. 95 milepost 372.7 to milepost 18.3 on Interstate 90, a distance of 64.7 miles.
· Travel on the third night will be from milepost 18.3 on I-90 to the Idaho/Montana border, a distance of 55.5 miles.
· The loads will travel up to 30 miles per hour.
· Traffic delays will be limited to 15 minutes. Twenty-five locations have been identified to clear traffic on the first night of travel. Twenty-two locations have been identified for the second night.
Three flagging/signing crews, two pilot cars and two Idaho State Police patrol officers will accompany the loads.