Mega-loads Could Top 30 mph

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Maybe ITD officials and engineers aren't technically "hostile witnesses" but they clearly have no desire to be called to testify by opponents of mega-loads.

Transportation department maintenance engineer Doral Hoff is going into his third hour of testimony at a hearing that will determine the fate of four giant coke drums that ConocoPhillips wants to haul across north central Idaho.

Hoff has been quizzed on how fast the mega-loads might travel. While an original ruling from ITD stated that they would average 15 mph, transportation officials are now saying the loads could go much faster.

"They told me they can average 20 to 30 mph," said Hoff. "And maybe faster than that."

When asked about when the mega-loads will need to pull over to a turnoff to let traffic pass, Hoff confirmed that some of loads would still protrude out into the highway. Hoff said the truckloads will be 29 feet wide, about 5 feet wider than the highway itself.