Megaload Moving Despite Petition In Northern Idaho

By Paige Browning

Another megaload of oil refinery equipment is traveling through the Inland Northwest this week, and with it, protesters have scheduled demonstrations in Idaho towns. Friday, the Idaho Transportation Department issued a permit to the company Bigge Crane to haul a nearly one-million pound load across northern Idaho.
 
By Friday afternoon, the organization Wild Idaho Rising Tide filed a petition requesting an immediate stay. But Monday night, the megaload left from the Lewiston area, and will travel north on highway 128, then highway 95 until Sandpoint, and from there turn onto Highway 200 bound for Montana. Transportation department spokesperson Adam Rush says they are reviewing the petition.
 
Rush: “…We want to demonstrate that we’re responsive to people who get in touch with us with their concerns. In terms of a specific timeframe I’m not aware of one, but the department does work to respond to petitions quickly after having had an opportunity to review them.”
 
Meanwhile, rising tide has organized protests along the route, including one Monday in Moscow that happened without incident. The second was planned for Tuesday night in Plummer, followed by demonstrations in Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint as the load travels. Last summer Nez Perce tribal members protested a megaload in Idaho, and are expected to join some of this week’s events.
 
Rush says the load is 925-thousand pounds and more than 300 feet long. The permit only allows it to travel between ten p.m. and 5:30 a.m, with an Idaho State Police escort. Rush says the load wouldn’t travel Tuesday, but will be on the road Wednesday night and should reach Montana by Monday. It’s heading for a refinery in Great Falls.
 
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