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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

ExxonMobil has 50 megaloads in Pasco, awaiting OK to travel Wash. freeway route

It turns out that 50 Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil megaloads already have arrived at the Port of Pasco, where they're awaiting approval to travel up U.S. Highway 395 to I-90 at Spokane, then east on I-90 through Coeur d'Alene to Montana and north on I-15 to Canada. The Washington Department of Transportation is in the final stages of reviewing the application, which it received six weeks ago and calls for shipping 98 modified megaloads along the Washington route, headed for the Alberta oil sands in Canada. Exxon spokeswoman Cynthia Bergman White said the loads of oil equipment now in Pasco are full-sized modules, but are bolted together in a way that should ease their disassembly. The reduced-size loads that travel on freeways would be up to 15 feet 10 inches tall, 24 feet wide and 208 feet long, and weigh up to 345,000 pounds.

Washington Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Legg said there are no fixed structures along the route that would impede the loads; road construction schedules are being checked and bridge and pavement capacities compared. "We move a lot of superloads through the state - these are not unusual at all," Legg said. "We move over 7,000 superloads a year in Washington, so this is part of our business."

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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