ISP staffing issues delay latest megaload shipment

By The Lewiston Tribune | Friday, June 24, 2011, 12:00am

A megaload bound for the Kearl Oil Sands in Canada via Moscow and Coeur d’Alene won’t be leaving Monday as previously scheduled.

The section of an ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil processing plant is waiting for its trip at the Port of Lewiston, where it was barged from Korea.

“They’re working on staffing issues with (the Idaho State Police) and ISP is not going to have the staffing needed for that,” said Adam Rush, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department.

Two ISP troopers working overtime paid for by ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil will accompany the 23-foot-wide, 208-foot-tall shipment that takes up two lanes of traffic.

A new date hasn’t yet been set for the first oversized load to use U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 90 to get through Idaho, Rush said.

ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil also delayed a smaller shipment that had been set to leave Monday, Rush said. It’s 14 feet wide, only two feet larger than the average width of a single lane of Idaho’s highways, Rush said.

Since that rig is smaller, it won’t have to adhere to the same requirements as the megaload, such as pulling over every 15 minutes to allow traffic to pass and traveling only between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

The bigger shipment is scheduled to make its trip in three phases, stopping near the Shoshone County line, at milepost 18 on Interstate 90 and the Idaho/Montana border.