A major chapter in the megaload saga in the Northern Rockies is drawing to a close.
Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil said Monday it’ll start the final two over-legal loads remaining at the Port of Lewiston in Idaho on the road to the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta on Tuesday night, weather permitting.
The first of 34 immense loads arrived at Lewiston by barge via the Columbia and Snake rivers in the fall of 2010, but were stranded there by legal protests and an environmental review process in Montana.
Imperial/Exxon ultimately opted to reduce the size of the original loads and ship them via interstate rather than the proposed two-lane routes of Highway 12 and Highway 200. Those shipments began last summer, and the final two megaloads will follow the same route that their roughly 65 predecessors took: from Lewiston north to Coeur d’Alene on Highway 95, then to and through western Montana on Interstate 90 and Interstate 15 on subsequent nights.
(By Kim Briggeman, Missoulian)