Megaloads get more space at port

Area will be cleared to make room for splitting modules

By Elaine Williams of the Tribune
March 9, 2011
The Port of Lewiston is reserving more space for crews to work on megaloads.

Eight acres are being added to a 91/2-acre area where 34 ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil processing plant modules are being stored, said David Doeringsfeld, manager of the Port of Lewiston. They were shipped from South Korea to the Port of Lewiston.

Vegetation will be removed from seven acres of the land. Then an 8-inch-thick layer of gravel will be placed over fabric designed to prevent the growth of weeds, said Doeringsfeld, who spoke at a port commission meeting Tuesday.

The apparent low bid is $185,000 from Crea Construction in Lewiston, about $100,000 less than the engineer’s estimate, Doeringsfeld said. “Holy buckets. I thought if we got $250,000 it would be a good day.”

Kiewit, which is working for Imperial Oil splitting 33 of the modules in half, is paying for the project through a lease still being negotiated, Doeringsfeld said.

The work is expected to be finished by the middle of April and the lease with Keiwit is anticipated to run through Nov. 1, Doeringsfeld said.

The modules are heading to the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada, on a route not yet announced by the oil company. Originally they were going to be sent across Idaho on U.S. Highway 12, but the oil company revised its plans after it encountered delays in obtaining permits from the Idaho Transportation Department.

So far, the agency has given permission for just one load, a test module in the dimension of ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil’s largest proposed load. It is scheduled to leave on March 28 and take three days to travel across the state.

The huge shipment will take up two lanes of traffic and only be allowed to travel between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. It will have to pull over at least every 15 minutes to let cars pass it.

ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil still wants to use U.S. 12 for more than 100 oversized shipments, but that request has so far been delayed by opponents.

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