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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Sheer rock walls and sharp curves…

Some stretches of U.S. Highway 12, shown in slides on a big screen at this morning's megaloads hearing, have a sheer rock wall on one side, and a guard rail on the other above the river, with just 31 feet between the two, along sharp curves. Attorney Natalie Havlina asked ITD maintenance engineer Doral Hoff how the 29-foot-wide transports will negotiate those curves.

Hoff said the vehicle traveling two hours ahead will chalk a route for the transport through those particular curves to help ease their passage. Havlina asked if traffic would be stopped while they do that, and Hoff said no. "Are you saying that either ITD staff or Emmert staff is going to be out marking up the highway in the dark at this time of year without any kind of flagging?" Havlina asked. Hoff responded that the chalkers will be wearing bright clothing, and there's little traffic at night when the loads would be traveling.

The loads may be "crabbing," or moving forward and back, to get around those curves, Hoff said. Plans also call for using hydraulic controls on the transports to lean the loads to clear the rock walls. Asked what speed they'll travel as they move through those curves, Hoff said he didn't know. "They said they can make it around there smooth," he said.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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