Megaloads Still Going Through Idaho

3 Jan

URGENT ALERT: We just received notice (at 6:30 pm!) from the Idaho Transportation Department that Mullen Trucking is moving a megaload on Highway 12 tonight (Thursday, January 3).  Please see the following, previous description and meet at 9 pm at the corner of Second and Washington Streets in Moscow to monitor and protest this likely Alberta-bound shipment!  Call 208-301-8039 for carpool arrangements to Lewiston…

Rural Megaload Route Map - Large
Megaload End of the (Industrial) World
 
Displaying its usual disregard for traveler safety over a holiday weekend and dangerous winter weather conditions, the Idaho Transportation Department has issued yet another permit for an oversized shipment on U.S. Highway 12 on Thursday night, January 3.  A 163-foot-long truck will transport a generator skid from the Port of Lewiston across Idaho to the Montana border and likely to Alberta between 10 pm on Thursday and 5:30 am on Friday.  The almost 17-foot tall, 243,000-pound shipment will crowd tight road curves and narrow two lanes with its 15 foot width, and will delay traffic on U.S. Highway 95 as it travels in the wrong direction near the Spalding bridge.
 
ITD released information to media outlets announcing this Highway 12 megaload without disclosing its ownership or destination.  However, the transport company, Mullen Trucking LP, bases its operations and fleet yard just south of Calgary, Alberta (http://www.mullentrucking.com/index.html).  The flagging/escort company, Red Wolf Traffic Control of Lapwai, located near the administrative core of the Nez Perce Tribe, has escorted cargo hauled by Nickel Brothers for Weyerhaeuser and by Omega Morgan for Sunshine Oilsands, all bound for destructive Alberta resource extraction ventures.  According to its approved traffic control plan and list of designated turnouts, Red Wolf intends to provide three leap-frogging flagging teams, roadside lamps around flaggers, three pilot car escorts, two flashing sign boards reading “Wide Load Ahead”, and a clearance height measuring pole.
 
As climate activists, we cannot civilly tolerate this creeping, fossil-fuel-facilitating industrialization of the only wild and scenic river corridor through the largest wildlands complex in the lower 48 states, especially now that Port of Lewiston staff are luring Bakken oil field suppliers to this and other Idaho routes (http://wildidahorisingtide.org/2012/12/13/bakken-oil-field-equipment-on-idaho-roads/), as North Dakota oil increasingly and precariously flows by train to West Coast ports (http://earthfix.opb.org/energy/article/oil-trains-on-the-rise-in-the-northwest/).  Please join Wild Idaho Rising Tide and our allies at 9 pm on Thursday evening, January 3, to monitor and protest yet another imperialistic industrial invasion of our rural homelands.  Meet at the corner of Second and Washington streets in Moscow with video and audio recorders and cameras and plenty of warm, water-proof attire, to confront the latest machine in the garden, as the purported 3 am Friday solstice end of the world approaches.  Call 208-301-8039 for carpooling information.
Contact:
Helen Yost, Wild Idaho Rising Tide

wild.idaho.rising.tide@gmail.com 208-301-8039

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One Response to “Megaloads Still Going Through Idaho”

  1. A Woman Trying To Feed Her Family March 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    I believe that you must be living a sheltered life of leisure. If you did not, you would know that 24 axles under a 300,000 lb. load leaves less surface weight per square inch of contact than the refrigerator in your own kitchen. Someone once said that an ounce of education can be a dangerous thing. In your case, and those with ideas similar to yours, I believe that to be extremely likely.
    These loads moving thru our area have only added to our local economy (at least in the areas where they have been welcomed). Several hotels/motels and restaurants (most are “Mom & Pop” operations) owe there very survival over the last 2 years of economic hardship to these hard workers and their “mega” loads.
    The vast majority of these loads are heading to Canada to eventually pipeline oil to the USA. That will greatly reduce our dependence upon the Middle East. (Are you aware of our complications there and the American lives being lost there daily?) People die every year on Idaho SH-12 (and the highway has been frequently shut down; causing immense inconvience) due to FALLING ROCK! The changes I have observed on Hwy. 12 have only brought long and much needed improvement. A few of the cliffs encroaching closest to the highway have been slightly scaled back; reducing much of the falling rock. A few of the curves have been ever so slightly straightened; reducing collisions with oncoming traffic. A few more pull outs have been added; allowing slower moving vehicles to pull over to allow traffic to safely go around, give them time for picture taking, have lunch, breathe the fresh air, and to enjoy the truly unique beauty of their surroundings.
    Wait a minute… Did I really just say, “enjoy”? Have you taken the drive from Lewiston, ID to Lolo, MT between Memorial Day and Labor Day? First, the noise, volume and speed of the traffic hardly makes stopping an “enjoyable” experience. Second, the volume and speed of the traffic makes for a “sweaty palm, white knuckle” drive / ride. There’s no time to “enjoy” the scenery. You have to keep your eyes completely and totally on the road every second (you should do that on any road anyway). But some areas are more crucial than others, and this is one of those areas.
    Because it’s so beautiful, it attracts more tourists. More tourists means more $ for the local economy. It also means more people decide not to just pass through, but to live there, as well. More people living there means more people needing to earn a wage. This leads to more, unavoidable, commerce. A vicious cycle, I admit.
    I have seen no proof that wildlife is being shaken out of trees. Mating and migration habits appear to be uninterrupted. I have yet to hear of any wildlife being slaughtered by the loads. It’s my understanding that most of these loads move so slowly that they’d have to run into the side of a load to incur harm. How many deer, elk, or moose have you or your friends hit? How many could have been prevented? Did it decimate the animal population?
    Until recently, we, the tax payers have provided every penny to maintain this beautiful highway. Over the last few years, the oil companies have contributed immensely; paying for much needed improvements that tax payers time and again said “no” to because we couldn’t afford to pay. I wonder how much the loved ones of those who died on that highway would change that if they’d known then what they know now. How many of them would still be alive?
    Why not take some of the money being spent on these frivolous lawsuits and donate it to your local food banks, Habitat For Humanity, research and development for alternative power and fuel sources, etc.
    (By the way, most of these suggestions are tax deductible!) Help your community. Stop buying the attorneys’ vacation homes!

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