Another outfit seeks permit to haul megaload on U.S. 12

Evaporator would be bound for Canadian Weyerhaeuser plant

By Elaine Williams of the Tribune
May 19, 2011
A different kind of megaload could be traveling on U.S. Highway 12 before summer.

Nickel Bros., a hauler, has applied for a permit to move an evaporator for a Canadian Weyerhaeuser plant from the Port of Lewiston to the Montana border, said Adam Rush, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department in Boise.

It would be 24 feet wide, 25 feet tall, 184 feet long and about 500,000 pounds counting transport equipment, Rush said.

If the ITD grants the permit, it could leave in early June and become the sixth mega-load to use U.S. 12 this year.

ConocoPhillips recently got the last of four Japanese-made drum halves across Idaho on the same route, and a test module of Imperial Oil reached the Montana border earlier this month.

The drum halves will be used in a rehabilitation project of a Billings, Mont., refinery.

The test module represented the largest of more than 100 oversized loads Imperial Oil wants to send on U.S. 12 carrying Korean-manufactured pieces of a processing plant that’s being constructed in the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada.

A contested case hearing in the matter was completed May 11. ITD won’t issue its decision until after the hearing officer in the proceeding has issued his recommendation, a process that could take weeks or months depending on a number of variables.

Both ConocoPhillips and Imperial Oil supersized hauls had dimensions similar to what Nickel Bros. is proposing.

They were accompanied by Idaho State Police, restricted to travel between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. and were supposed to pull over at least every 15 minutes to allow cars to pass.

The Nickel Bros. shipment would have to submit a traffic plan, but it’s too early to know if it would have to comply with a 15-minute rule, Rush said.

Rush also didn’t have details about the evaporator such as where it was made, what path it would take to Lewiston and when it might reach Idaho’s only port.

David Doeringsfeld, manager of the Port of Lewiston, said the evaporator is not at the port.

Doeringsfeld said he couldn’t recall fielding any questions from Nickel Bros. or any inquiries involving an evaporator. “I don’t know anything about the project.”

Williams may be contacted at
[email protected] or (208) 848-2261.