Megaload may leave Thursday on Palouse route

Saturday, August 20, 2011 | Tribune The Lewiston Tribune

The first Imperial Oil megaload to travel on the Palouse is scheduled to leave as early as 10 p.m. Thursday from the Port of Lewiston.

The Idaho Transportation Department previously announced the shipment would depart sometime next week, but hadn’t provided a date.

The agency hasn’t provided a specific time for when the rig will hit the road. “The permitting is such that they have a certain amount of latitude with the times they move on the highway,” said Adam Rush, a spokesman for ITD, in Boise.

The oversized load will take up two lanes of traffic. It is 24 feet wide, 14 feet high and 208 feet long. It weighs 413,600 pounds, Rush said.

It will be accompanied by Idaho State Police troopers, be required to pull over every 15 minutes and is restricted to travel between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.

It’s expected to stop at the Latah/Benewah county line on U.S. Highway 95, about 15 miles east of Coeur d’Alene on Interstate 90 and at the Montana border on Interstate 90.

The hauler will be carrying a Korean-made segment of a processing plant that will be constructed at the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada.

It was originally barged to Lewiston in the fall with about 33 other components. They were converted into 70 shorter ones that travel under Interstate overpasses. Imperial Oil would prefer to send the megaloads on U.S. Highway 12, but has yet to secure permission to do so in Idaho or Montana.

© 2011 The Lewiston Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.