U.S. Highway 95 Still Limited to ‘Mini’ Megaloads


As shippers’ preferred Highway 12 route is fought in court, underpasses trim trips north.

As yet another legal battle mounts against permitting oversized loads to be transported along the Wild and Scenic River Corridor on U.S. Highway 12, concerns vary as to whether U.S. Highway 95 could again be tapped as the next viable shipping option.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill will preside over a court hearing on August 27 to decide if an emergency injunction should be issued, requiring the U.S. Forest Service to enforce its standards for megaload shipments through the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

The lawsuit was filed by the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United following several days of protests of an Omega Morgan evaporator shipment bound for the tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

If the Forest Service is ordered to enforce its jurisdiction over megaloads that it perceives as hazardous to the national forest and river corridor, such shipments may be halted or forced to go elsewhere.

Doral Hoff, district operations manager for the Idaho Transportation Department in Lewiston, said it isn’t likely Omega Morgan will seek permits to move any more evaporators up U.S. Highway 95 if Highway 12 is closed off. Continue reading