After months of protests, challenges and hearings, Idaho Transportation Department director Brian Ness issued permits on Sept. 7 to allow Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil to transport the infamous mega-loads across Idaho via Highway 12.
Those who have argued against allowing the massive loads of mining equipment to be transported across one of Idaho's most scenic and twisting highways still have a 14-day window to file an appeal asking Ness to reconsider his decision. Several loads were transported along the section of Highway 12 in April, but each took far longer to move than expected and met heavy resistance from officials in Montana.
Immediately following ITD's permit announcement, it also said that three ExxonMobil mega-loads will likely hit the road along Highway 95 and Interstate 90 this week on their way to the Idaho-Montana border: The first load left on Sept. 6. It was 22 feet wide, 14.6 feet high, 75 feet long and weighed 73,900 pounds.
The load that left Sept. 7 is 23 feet wide, 15.3 feet high, 75 feet long and weighs 69,700 pounds, while the load scheduled for tonight is 23 feet wide, 14 feet high, 76 feet long and weighs 84,600 pounds.
Each of the loads was set to leave the Port of Lewiston around 10 p.m. and make it to the border in one night.