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Eye On Boise

Megaloads hearing takes back up…

Retired Idaho District Judge Duff McKee, at left, presides over the contested case hearing on proposed megaloads on Highway 12 on Wednesday; testifying is traffic engineer Pat Dobie. (Betsy Russell)
Retired Idaho District Judge Duff McKee, at left, presides over the contested case hearing on proposed megaloads on Highway 12 on Wednesday; testifying is traffic engineer Pat Dobie. (Betsy Russell)

The contested-case hearing on Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil's proposed megaloads on U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho has taken back up this morning, with the megaloads opponents recalling their expert witness, Boise traffic engineer Pat Dobie, as a rebuttal witness. Asked about testimony from ITD officials that accident rates on Highway 95 are worse than those on Highway 12, Dobie said, "Highway 12 isn't the worst highway in the state, but it's 35 percent worse than the average. ... We're talking about the average for Idaho. ... This is a state with a pretty high average crash frequency to begin with. ... This is a relatively unsafe road in the state." He added, "Clearly, traveling at night is more difficult from a safety perspective than traveling in the daytime."

The proposed giant loads all would travel at night; Imperial/Exxon wants to send more than 200 of them over the twisting, scenic highway, blocking both lanes as they travel because of their size. Today is expected to be the last day of testimony in the contested-case hearing, which is in its third week.



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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