The U.S. Forest Service has issued a closure order barring megaloads from Highway 12 through the Lochsa-Clearwater Wild and Scenic Rivers corridor in north-central Idaho, pursuant to a federal judge's ruling; you can see the order here. In a statement, the Forest Service said the route, from mileposts 75.2 to 174.4 in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, is now closed to loads more than 16 feet wide or 150 feet long; to loads that would take more than 12 hours to traverse that section of road; or loads that "requires physical modification of the roadway or adjacent vegetation to facilitate passage beyond normal highway maintenance." The closure order is in effect "until rescinded," the Forest Service reported; click below for the Forest Service statement.
Today is the day that Omega Morgan, the transport company at which the closure order is addressed, had planned to ship another giant load across the route for a subsidiary of General Electric, an evaporator headed for the Canadian tar sands.
USDA Forest Service -- Northern Region
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 18, 2013
Statement from the Forest Service in regards to closure of a portion of Highway 12
In compliance with the Judge’s order, the Forest Service issued a closure order to Omega Morgan on Sept. 17, 2013 for mega-loads traveling Highway 12 in Idaho between mileposts 75.2 to 174.4 on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. This area corresponds to the designated Wild and Scenic River Corridor on the Middle Fork of the Clearwater and Lochsa rivers.
Vehicles meeting any of the following criteria are covered in the closure order:
· Exceeding 16 feet wide or 150 feet long
· Any over-legal vehicle (per Idaho Transportation Department regulation) that requires longer than 12 hours to travel from mileposts 75.2 to 174.4.
· Requires physical modification of the roadway or adjacent vegetation to facilitate passage beyond normal highway maintenance.
The order is in effect until rescinded.
(Statement was prepared in response to the United States District Court in the District of Idaho’s September 12, 2013 ruling (Case No. 3:13-CV-348-BLW)