One of the largest shipments ever to roll across U.S. Highway 12 is sitting at a rest stop near Orofino this morning after crawling through the night from the Port of Wilma, Wash., and into Idaho.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the 236-foot-long mega-load is water purification equipment bound for the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada.
The Tribune reports that the mega-load consumes two lanes of traffic, but isn't allowed to delay cars more than 15 minutes, per its permit instructions from the Idaho Transportation Department. The hauler paid $1,070 for the permit, according to the Tribune.
Idaho environmentalists, including Wild Idaho Rising Tide, were planning two demonstrations against the use by the mega-loads—the first Monday night in Lewiston and another for Wednesay night near Syringa.
Brett Haverstick of the Friends of the Clearwater in Moscow, Idaho, said his group plans to help monitor the load to assure the haulers adhere to state laws, including traffic delays.
The mega-load's travel is restricted to between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. on U.S. 12. The 520,000-pound shipment is expected to hit the Montana border on its fourth night of travel.
In February 2011, four mega-loads of giant coke drums rolled across U.S. Highway 12, but because of inclement weather, the anticipated four-day journey stretched into 11 days.
Later that same year, Lin Laughy and Borg Hendrickson, who live along U.S. Highway 12, successfully battled ExxonMobil in the oil giant's quest to roll scores of mega-loads along the same route. Instead, mega-loads were broken up into smaller shipments and sent by alternate routes on their way to the Kearl project in Alberta.