Megaloads remain near Kooskia for now

KOOSKIA – The ConocoPhillips megaload will remain parked here in a U.S. Highway 12 turnout near the entrance to town until at least Monday night, when it is scheduled to resume its gradual journey toward a refinery in Billings, Mont.

The half-drum, loaded aboard a huge tractor-trailer transport system, remained stalled because of winter weather conditions farther up the highway toward Lolo Pass. The load, which left the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley earlier in the week, is scheduled to travel about 52 more miles Monday night before pulling over at milepost 126, about five miles east of the
Lochsa Ranger Station.

The final of four Idaho legs, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday night, will leave the load about 8 miles inside Montana, Adam Rush, spokesman for the Idaho Department of Transportation, said Saturday.

The load is the first of possibly hundreds of oversized shipments that may travel the Highway 12 corridor. It has been the subject of much debate, legal action and protests, mostly over environmental concerns, as well as a source of curiosity among motorists and residents living adjacent to the highway.

The shipment, with police and safety crew escorts, is being moved at night to have the least effect on traffic.