WALLACE — Megaloads will rest in a parking lot across from the Wallace visitors’ center for about four more months, depending on weather, said Mayor Dick Vester.
“It’s a welcome, positive economic impact across the valley,” he said, because drivers and crews are having to stay and utilize local resources. “That’s been a help to some of the businesses, restaurants, and hotels.”
During a special city council meeting December 1, members unanimously gave Vester the authority to enter into a contract with Mammoet Canada Western, a company specializing in heavy lifting and transport, to use the space for megaload parking and maintenance.
Large shipments of oil sand equipment headed to Canada were brought to Lewiston, Idaho, by ship. Originally, Imperial Oil wanted its equipment to travel by truck along two-lane Lolo Pass on Highway 12 and continue through Missoula and north to Canada. However, plans changed along the way and megaloads are instead being trucked on interstate highways, including I-90.
Recent heavy snowfall has made it difficult for the trucks to continue on their way, so the process might be delayed, Vester said. Progress also depends on Mammoet’s relationship with the Idaho Transportation Department, since they’ve had some stoppages for various reasons.
The contract is positive for the city of Wallace, Vester said — Mammoet will pay for use of the parking lot, but the final amount is not yet decided.
(By Kelsey Saintz, Shoshone News Press, Kellogg, Idaho)