The Idaho Transportation Department is inviting the public to a meeting Thursday in Coeur d’Alene to discuss on-ramp widening and brief, temporary closures of I-90 at Sherman Avenue that are planned to allow three megaloads of oil field equipment bound for Canada to pass through. The three giant loads – which each will measure 472 feet long, 27 feet wide, about 16 feet tall and weigh 1.6 million pounds – could travel within the next month, said ITD spokesman Mel Coulter. “The public meeting is designed to explain it to the public and get some feedback,” he said “It’s not imminent.”
The megaloads, being hauled by Mammoet USA South, Inc., would arrive at I-90 from the Lewiston area via U.S. Highway 95, exit I-90 at the Sherman Avenue interchange, travel 5.5 miles along East Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive, pass under the I-90 overpass west of Higgens Point, and re-enter I-90 at a temporary on-ramp that ITD said is “mostly completed” on the north side of I-90. “The on-ramp, which is on public right of way, will have widening work done to allow the shipments to use it,” ITD said in a news release. Coulter said the freeway likely would close for only about 10 minutes at a time.
Other megaload transports in the region have drawn protests and lawsuits; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.