Port of Lewiston’s Helmsman Navigates Busy Waters

The Port of Lewiston has been the site of much activity this year as crews worked to reduce the size of the extra-large shipments dubbed "megaloads" (The Lewiston Tribune/Steve Hanks photo).

While shipping is one of the most visible of the Port of Lewiston’s functions, its manager says it’s only one method to achieve the primary mission of job creation.

The subject of this month’s Business Profile doesn’t own a business. In fact, if you live in Nez Perce County, you are his boss.

As general manager of the Port of Lewiston, David Doeringsfeld is responsible not just for the shipment of cargo in and out of Lewiston, but for “enhancing the economic environment of Nez Perce County.”

His job is to help create more jobs. Or, as he put it, “It’s not just about barges.” Continue reading

More Megaloads Possible for Inland NW Roads

LEWISTON — Imperial Oil approved an expansion for its processing plant under construction in the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada.

The move raises the possibility of additional megaloads on north central Idaho’s roads, even though many of the details of the project are still being hammered out.

About 200 of the 1,200 components needed for the processing plant, scheduled to be completed this year, are being manufactured in Korea, said Pius Rolheiser, a spokesman for Imperial Oil. Continue reading

Heavy Haul to Climate Hell

At 935,000 combined pounds, the three Alberta tar sands transports scheduled to damage Highway 95 and Moscow streets on Thursday, January 12, build the heaviest Imperial Oil convoy ever.  If the vestiges of a cool climate and winter weather do not scuttle another reinforcing trip to the world’s biggest (232-square-mile) mine, three 24-feet wide, 15-feet high shipments respectively weighing 135,000, 375,000, and 425,000 pounds and measuring 110, 195, and 215 feet long could leave the Port of Lewiston after 8 pm.  All of the transports will travel separately except through Moscow, as the smaller module on a conventional trailer moves toward Lookout Pass and the two megaloads on hydraulic trailers lumber toward a parking/staging area near Worley.  Idaho state troopers, pilot vehicle drivers, flaggers, and Moscow city police, all paid by the hauler Mammoet, will guard and escort this tar sands equipment instead of the citizen safety, access, and convenience we should all demand on our own roads. Continue reading

Megaload Countdown: Protest & Monitor!

[Update: Last night, on Tuesday, January 10, Imperial Oil and its hauler Mammoet moved only one of its three tar sands modules up Highway 95, admitting that “two shipments were not able to leave the Port of Lewiston.” Moscow police informed protesters of this postponement after the first load traversed our city streets.  Tonight, Big Oil plans to pummel Idaho roads with the heaviest megaload yet, a 425,000-pound, 215-feet-long climate killer, and with a 60,000-pound, two-lane (24-feet) wide, rolling roadblock.  Please do your part to monitor and protest this deadly procession on Wednesday, January 11, or forever regret your complicity in global devastation.  Join Moscow activists and Wild Idaho Rising Tide members who will supply protest signs, banners, and chants and monitoring partners and guidance.  Bring your friends, family, outrage, strong voice, and recording equipment.  Monitors are meeting near Moscow City Hall, at the corner of Second and Washington streets, at 7:30 pm and after the demonstration.  Protesters are converging at the same location between 9:30 and 10 pm.  Please see the prior announcement for further information and check the ExxonMobil website at http://www.kearltransport.com/ for other last-minute, purportedly weather-induced changes.] Continue reading

Rescind Mega-Invitation

Diana Armstrong, Moscow

The Lewiston Tribune 1/4/11

It’s a new year; everyone makes resolutions. I wonder what the Moscow City Council is doing about the Sustainable Environment Commission’s recommendations regarding the motion the council passed in May inviting the megaloads to Moscow. The commission has asked the council to rescind that statement and issue another.

That statement said the city council believed the movement of the megaloads through Moscow would not have “any inordinate impact on the infrastructure and community.” Depends on how you define “inordinate,” but there were disruptions, costs, and accidents. Continue reading

Heavy New Year!

On Wednesday, January 4, in defiance of reason and the public will and in devious resolve to plunder our meager state infrastructure, freshwater ecosystems, and the rapidly fading viability of life under carbon-packed skies, ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil is moving the most massive combined weight of megaloads to ever crush Idaho roads and bridges (and you are the lucky taxpayer who finances its damages AND subsidizes its profits!).  As harbingers of the excessive industrial forces that we have allowed to increasingly proliferate around our planet, the three modules passing through the Palouse toward Alberta tar sands mining operations will respectively (but not respectfully) weigh 200,000, 330,000, and 375,000 pounds and will crowd curves with their 90, 175, and 200 foot lengths and 15 foot heights.  If you have not yet observed or raged against these colossal machines, Highway 95 and Moscow streets are now calling your name! Continue reading

Megaloads Confuse Drivers

Frank Bybee, Desmet

The Lewiston Tribune 1/1/12

I had this terrible accident on Nov. 8, well after dark, about 25 miles north of Moscow on U.S. Highway 95.

I came up on all these huge flashing lights, so I was slowing down. There was a flagger who had a minivan stopped.

I did not notice the van.

I am a pro boxer so my vision and reflexes are above the average. There were just a bunch of huge flashing lights with no instructions to drivers on how to proceed.

I hit that van, I totaled my car and the minivan. I was knocked out and got a concussion. My shoulder and hip are bruised from my seat belt. I am lucky to be alive. Continue reading

Number 10 [in Lewiston Tribune Newsroom Staff Poll]: Megaloads Roll in Spite of Foes

Megaloads took to U.S. highways 12 and 95 in 2011, despite legal battles seeking to slow or stop the transports.

The first of the oversized loads that take up two lanes of traffic left the Port of Lewiston on U.S. 12 in the winter carrying half a drum for an upgrade of a ConocoPhillips refinery in Billings, Montana.

Imperial Oil hauled components for a processing plant in the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada, on U.S. 95. Weyerhaeuser sent pieces of equipment on U.S. 12 for a project at a Canadian factory. Selway Corp. in Montana hauled a huge pipe on U.S. 12 for a hydroelectric project in Washington. Continue reading