On Friday, March 1, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) allowed a 129-foot long, 16-foot wide, 177,500-pound transport hauled by Mullen Trucking to travel west on U.S. Highway 12 from Montana between 10 pm and 5 am. ITD inexplicably permitted this load without full advance public disclosure, as requested by our allies, by sending the associated announcement to area media outlets after 5 pm on Friday. The state agency obviously compromised the safety and convenience of the traveling public, which it is mandated to uphold, by releasing this information to the press so late and thus facilitating probable traffic delays and confusion caused by the megaload.
If road and weather conditions favor travel tonight, March 4, MAK Transportation of British Columbia (http://www.maktransportation.com/) will move another mammoth shipment east on U.S. Highway 12, from the Port of Lewiston toward Montana, between 10 pm and 5:30 am. Of unknown weight, ownership, and destination, the transport measures 85 feet long and 17 feet wide and tall. Three flagging teams and escort vehicles will accompany the shipment to alert other drivers of the over-width load and to limit delays of other Highway 12 traffic to under 15 minutes, as the convoy uses identified turnouts.
Although the U.S. Forest Service lost the recent lawsuit argued by Advocates for the West on behalf of Idaho Rivers United, the federal agency has 60 days, until April 6, to file an appeal of Judge Winmill’s decision. Because the court case did not target ITD, the transportation department can continue to issue megaload permits utilizing the state easement through the Clearwater National Forest and nationally designated wild and scenic river corridor. However, the Forest Service is now bound by the February 7 ruling to exercise its jurisdiction over such uses of Highway 12.
Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists tonight in monitoring this transport on Highway 12. Concerned area citizens are meeting at the corner of Second and Washington streets in Moscow at 9 pm on Monday, March 4, with cameras and video and audio recorders to intercept, follow, and observe the convoy and to document hauling operations. Please call 208-301-8039 if you can assist with building evidence against this ongoing industrial onslaught across Idaho.