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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hearings denied on pulp mill megaloads

BOISE – Idaho’s transportation director refused Friday to allow hearings that could delay a new proposal to send megaloads of equipment across scenic U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho. Several of the loads are wide enough to block both lanes of traffic on the narrow, twisting, two-lane route.

Loads permitted for CdA

BOISE – The Idaho Transportation Department has issued the first two permits for modified megaloads of oil field equipment to travel up U.S. Highway 95 to Coeur d’Alene, then turn onto Interstate 90 to Montana. The two loads could start moving as soon as June 27, destined for the Alberta oil sands in Canada. They’re among 33 giant loads of oil equipment that have been stalled in Lewiston for months, awaiting permits to travel on scenic, twisting U.S. Highway 12 to Montana. Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil has been cutting those loads in half, reducing their height but not their length or width, to allow them to travel on the interstate.

ITD board drops 10-minute rule for future megaloads

BOISE – Idaho’s top transportation officials voted unanimously Thursday to eliminate the state’s 10-minute limit on traffic delays from oversized loads traveling Idaho roads, including megaloads. The Idaho Transportation Department contends there are conflicting rules, and likely will fall back to the current, but informal, 15-minute standard for megaloads.

Report: Route prized by hauler

BOISE – A 2009 report by the company that proposed to haul more than 200 giant loads of oil equipment on scenic U.S. Highway 12 in north-central Idaho said the project would be a “game changer for Alberta’s oil sands developers,” opening up a “high-load corridor” from Lewiston to Alberta, Canada. The report, which was shown as an exhibit during a hearing Wednesday on the Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil megaloads plan, was submitted to the Idaho Transportation Department by Mammoet Transportation, the hauler for Imperial/Exxon.

Forest Service officials object to wide loads

Supervisors of the Clearwater and Lolo national forests are worried mega-loads along U.S. Highway 12 in Idaho and Montana will make it difficult for the agency to carry out its mission and adversely affect public recreation.

Subsidies on heavy shipments criticized

BOISE – An Oregon congressman is calling for a federal investigation into plans for oversize shipments of oil equipment across U.S. Highway 12 to Canada, saying he doesn’t want U.S. taxpayers subsidizing Canadian oil production. “I am concerned about the ExxonMobil Canada plan to use U.S. roadways to haul oversize loads to Alberta, Canada, for the Kearl Oil Sands project,” Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, wrote to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on Aug. 25.

Transportation department joins appeal of load decision

BOISE – Idaho’s transportation chief said Monday that a court decision revoking permits for giant truck shipments on scenic U.S. Highway 12 from Moscow to Lewiston could “end up restricting commerce and limiting business opportunities.” Director Brian Ness’ comments came as the Idaho Transportation Department joined ConocoPhillips in appealing the decision to the Idaho Supreme Court.

Idaho roads agency appeals wide-loads ruling

The Idaho Transportation Department has joined ConocoPhillips in appealing to the Idaho Supreme Court a local judge's decision to revoke its permits for four huge truckloads of oil refinery equipment to travel winding U.S. Highway 12 from Lewiston to Montana, saying the decision could "end up restricting commerce and limiting business opportunities." The high court set arguments for Oct. 1.

Judge stops huge loads, requires safety review

An Idaho judge on Tuesday revoked special permits allowing a company to truck four oversize loads of oil refinery equipment through a federally protected river corridor, saying the state failed to address public concerns and violated its own regulations in approving them. Judge John Bradbury ordered the Idaho Transportation Department to review the request from ConocoPhillips again and to take action to ensure the safety and convenience of the public.

Judge to decide today fate of oversized loads

LEWISTON – A state judge will decide today if ConocoPhillips can ship four oversized loads of oil refinery equipment along a highway that traces a winding, federally protected river corridor in Idaho. Last week, 2nd District Judge John Bradbury put a temporary halt on the oil company’s plans to ship the massive coke drums along the 175-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 12.

Judge blocks permits for Highway 12 loads

BOISE – An Idaho judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked ConocoPhillips from hauling four giant loads of oil refinery equipment over U.S. Highway 12 from the Port of Lewiston to Montana. Judge John Bradbury of Idaho’s 2nd District issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Idaho Transportation Department from issuing permits for the loads, which are so wide they would take up both lanes of the two-lane highway. A motion for a preliminary injunction will be heard on Friday at 9 a.m. in Grangeville.

Lawsuit stalls permits for oversize loads through river canyon

BOISE – Residents opposed to giant truck shipments of oil equipment through Idaho’s scenic Clearwater/Lochsa river canyon filed suit Monday, just a day before Idaho planned to issue permits for the first four loads. Meanwhile, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announced that he’ll impose a new requirement for a $10 million bond from the two oil companies that want to move the massive equipment, and both agreed to put up the bonds. Without the new bonding requirement, they would have only been required to pay state fees of $1,000 per load for the oversize loads.