Mega-loads Opponent: Convoy Would Have to Travel Faster than 49 mph

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Lin Laughy is not an engineer. But he talked like one today at the contested case mega-load hearing.

Two days of testimony and evidence has been presented to a special hearing officer as he consider whether to recommend hauling four giant coke drums across north central Idaho to a ConocoPhillips refinery in Billings, Mont.

Laughy and his wife Borg Hendrickson are two of 13 convenors opposing the proposed transit. They live along the middle fork of the Clearwater River. Highway 12 separates their home from the riverbank and that's exactly where Conoco wants to haul mega-loads. Laughy has spent the better part of the last year doing his own calculations and he testified that Conoco's math doesn't add up.

"I can still handle a measuring tape pretty well," said Laughy, who added that he relies heavily on Google.

Laughy said for Conoco to stay on the schedule that it has proposed, the loads would have to travel up to 49 mph on the long and winding road to not delay traffic any more than 15 minutes.

Laughy testified that the mega-loads would block him from "getting to the grocery store, to get medical services, or even to go to town to see our grandchildren."