Megaload on U.S. Highway 12 Going Slower than Expected


A megaload carrying water purification equipment was expected to reach somewhere between Lowell and Wilderness Gateway Campground on U.S. Highway 12 this [Thursday] morning.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) offered no projection Wednesday of what the travel schedule for tonight and Friday morning is expected to be.

The oversized shipment deviated from its original travel plan Wednesday when it stopped about halfway between Kamiah and Kooskia rather than going all the way to Kooskia, wrote Adam Rush, a spokesman for ITD at Boise, in an email.

It was expected to go from there to a spot between milepost 104 and milepost 116 this morning.  Lowell is at milepost 97, and Wilderness Gateway Campground is at milepost 124.

Rush was unable to provide a reason for the revision of the plan.

“Changes in the weather conditions or road conditions can factor into where the shipment stops each morning, although (the transport company) and our staff didn’t indicate to me that those were reasons why the transport didn’t travel to Kooskia,” he wrote.

The forecast for tonight calls for rain at Lowell.  The chance of snow is 100 percent at Powell near the Montana border.

The rig takes up two lanes of traffic and is limited to traveling between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m.  It’s accompanied by a crew with mobile signs and flaggers who coordinate frequent stops along the road to limit traffic delays to no longer than 15 minutes.

The equipment was made in the Portland area and barged to the Port of Wilma just west of Clarkston.  It entered Idaho Monday night on its way to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in the heart of the Canadian oil sands.

(By Elaine Wiliams, The Lewiston Tribune)

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