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Oil equipment makes its way north on Hwy. 95

Sat., July 16, 2011, 3:18 p.m.

Smaller of two reduced-sized megaloads passes through Moscow

MOSCOW, Idaho — Some protesters were surprised when they showed up to the Pie Hole to find out Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil’s first oversized shipment of refinery equipment had already rolled through Washington Street — hours before expected.

A smaller shipment than the second — the date for transport has not been announced — the oversized load could have traveled during the day, but Imperial Oil spokesman Pius Rolheiser said the oil company wanted to follow the same protocol as the other.

Rather than leaving at 10 p.m. as was outlined in the oil company’s permit application approved by the Idaho Transportation — new permits were issued Wednesday with a start date set for Friday with a five-day window to begin moving — several protesters said they found out the smaller load left the Port of Lewiston at dusk.

Under the permit for the smaller shipment, according to a Friday news release from ITD, transport could occur “during night-time hours.”

The shipment weighs 69,550 pounds, and is 17 feet wide, 14 feet high and 81 feet long.

Moscow resident David Hall said he heard about the shipment leaving earlier than previously expected and was able to catch a glimpse of the truck as it passed through the city a little before 10 p.m.

Romney Boehm of Moscow said the size of shipment still allowed for traffic to drive alongside it.

“It was the regular traffic coming through,” she said. “It didn’t look like a particularly big load at all.”

Jeremy Jenkins said he followed the shipment as it made its way past his home across from Moscow Building Supply.

The truck pulled over at a turnout in Viola, said Jenkins, who then began following the shipment but soon lost sight of it behind traffic.

He said he turned around at the Latah/Benewah county line — where the shipment was scheduled to stop its first night — but didn’t see the oversized load.

“There was nothing there and, as I was coming back, a bunch of (Idaho State Police) came blazing by.”

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