[Vision2020] ITD submits new decrees for megaloads

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Sat Nov 19 02:53:23 PST 2016

Somehow, this song jus' kinda seems appropriate . . .

"Highway To Hell"

Play it in the background as you read . . .

Courtesy of today's (November 19, 2016) Lewiston Tribune.


ITD submits new decrees for megaloads
Ambulances would need to accompany oversized shipments on U.S. 12; Legislature will vote on it
New rules for megaloads along U.S. Highway 12 between Kooskia and the Montana border are one step closer to becoming law.

The Idaho Transportation Board advanced the proposed requirements for the oversized shipments this week. The state Legislature will have the final say.

Ambulances would have to accompany shipments, if they are wider than 16 feet, longer than 150 feet, would take longer than 12 hours to move along that section or would need modification of the road or roadside vegetation.

Lighting on the large shipments couldn't pose a safety hazard and they would have to pass safety inspections by the Idaho State Police. The trucks couldn't use turnouts designated for recreational vehicles. Travel schedules would have to be set based on the best interest of the public.

ITD would monitor the large trucks as they travel in the Clearwater and Nez Perce national forests, making sure only one is in the 100-mile section at a time. Megaloads anywhere in the state could be delayed if they don't adhere to ITD's requirements.

The board backed the regulations in spite of more than 100 comments from the public and environmental groups that either questioned the timing of the board's action or opposed megaloads.

They wondered why ITD was pushing the revisions forward now when a temporary injunction in a federal court case bars megaloads on the route. The Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho Rivers United and the U.S. Forest Service are in court-sanctioned mediation to resolve the litigation.

That sanction is hurting the Port of Lewiston, which is hoping to diversify its customer base. The port added 150 feet to its 120-foot-long dock in 2013 with help from a $1.3 million federal grant.

Last year, the only routine activity at the dock ground to a halt when container carriers stopped calling on the Port of Portland. Until then, entrepreneurs had shipped containers of dried peas and lentils and other goods on the Snake and Columbia rivers to Portland, where they moved to ocean-going vessels.

Businesses that haul megaloads have been following the issue closely. Nickel Bros. would like to use the route following all rules, including those set by the Nez Perce Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service. It doesn't have any specific plans to use it at this time.

Omega Morgan, another megaload hauler, objected to the requirement for ambulances accompanying the large shipments.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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