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Four Omega Morgan mini-megaloads head up Highway 95 from Lewiston, but big one still at port

Late yesterday afternoon, the Idaho Transportation Department announced four oversized loads from Omega Morgan would travel up Highway 95 from Lewiston to Coeur d’Alene, starting last night at 9:30, en route to I-90 to Montana. “Each shipment is 20.1 feet wide, 15.6 feet tall, 75 feet long and weighs under 80,000 pounds,” ITD spokesman Adam Rush reported. “They will enter Idaho from the Port of Wilma in Clarkston, Wash., using Idaho 128. Once the shipments reach Coeur d'Alene, they will travel eastbound to Montana on Interstate 90.”

Remember that Omega Morgan has had a giant water evaporator bound for the Canadian oil sands sitting at the Port of Wilma, stalled by a federal court order, since it sent a similar one across Highway 12 in north-central Idaho in August for a division of General Electric. The company argued that the megaloads couldn’t be reduced in size, and thus had to travel over the scenic river corridor, which unlike the I-90 freeway, has no overpasses that limit heights. The Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United sued the U.S. Forest Service, which has jurisdiction over designated Wild and Scenic Rivers corridor, and a federal judge halted the shipments until the Forest Service has completed a corridor study and consulted with the tribe. On Friday, the company filed a notice of appeal to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

So has the evaporator has now been cut up into four loads? ITD says no. “The equipment shipped last night is different than the equipment proposed to travel U.S. 12,” said ITD spokesman Jeff Stratten. “That equipment is still at the port of Wilma.”

ITD reports that three flagging teams, two pilot vehicles and portable signs are traveling with each pair of shipments as they move up Highway 95 and along I-90, and delays for other traffic on 95 are required to not exceed 15 minutes. “Locations have been identified along U.S. 95 where the shipments can safely pull over to let traffic pass,” Rush said. Click below for his full news release.


10/15/2013


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Equipment shipments will travel on U.S. 95, Interstate 90 starting tonight

  

BOISE – Motorists are advised to expect delays on U.S. 95 between Lewiston and Coeur d'Alene while equipment shipments travel northbound on the highway from Lewiston Tuesday night (Oct. 15), the Idaho Transportation Department announced.

Omega Morgan is transporting four shipments. Each shipment is 20.1 feet wide, 15.6 feet tall, 75 feet long and weighs under 80,000 pounds. They will enter Idaho from the Port of Wilma in Clarkston, Wash., using Idaho 128. Once the shipments reach Coeur d'Alene, they will travel eastbound to Montana on Interstate 90.

The shipments will travel in pairs. The first shipment will start at 9:30 p.m., and the second at 10:30 p.m. The shipments are anticipated to reach the Idaho/Montana state line between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Three flagging teams, two pilot vehicles and portable signs are traveling with each pair of shipments. The transportation plan requires that delays not exceed 15 minutes for other vehicles using U.S. 95. Locations have been identified along U.S. 95 where the shipments can safely pull over to let traffic pass.

Questions? Visit us online at itd.idaho.gov, follow ITD on Twitter (@IdahoITD) or Facebook and check travel conditions at 511.idaho.gov or dial 5-1-1. Please slow down in highway construction zones and pay attention. Safety for drivers and workers is our highest priority.


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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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