JUNE 24, 2010

Orofino Chamber of Commerce

ITD discusses wide loads

Doral Hoff, Maintenance Engineer for Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD), was the guest speaker at the chamber luncheon held June 16, giving members an update on the wide equipment loads planned to move down Hwy. 12.   Doral Hoff (pictured), Maintenance Engineer for Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), was the guest speaker at the chamber luncheon held June 16. He gave an update on the upcoming wide load equipment move to progress from the Port of Lewiston on Hwy. 12, through Montana, to their destination near Ft. McMurray in Alberta Canada.

   Hoff made the distinction between two separate, unrelated moves: the Exxon-Mobile Corp. move mentioned above and a ConocoPhillips move to Billings, MT which will consist of only four modules. The oil companies will contract professional movers to handle the tasks.

   The Exxon-Mobile loads will consist of approximately 200+ modules, varying in weight, reaching up to 563,000 pounds. The length of the loads will be between 170 feet and 210 feet long.

   Hoff said that his department is responsible for analyzing the loads to make sure they can be accomplished safely. To date, no permits have been issued.

   The proposed moves will occur at night from approximately 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., at a time when traffic patterns are low and allowing for pull-outs along the entire route. The delay time for travelers is expected to be no more than 15 minutes.

   A 20 to 30 mph speed is expected to be maintained enroute. Westbound traffic will follow the loads. Eastbound traffic will be allowed to proceed during the turnout times. Hoff said this is a “leap frog event,” and they have been doing it successfully for seven to eight years with no accidents and no incidents. He stressed that no hazardous materials are being transported.

   The reason equipment is not simply shipped across Canada to their destinations, is there are too many tunnels via rail, and too many low overpasses by roadway, which would not accommodate the large shipments across Canada’s Rocky Mountains.

   What makes these loads possible is the greater number of tires put on each trailer; having more tires distributes the weight over the entire highway (approximately 500 pounds per square inch on the width of the tire).   

   The State of Idaho will not receive special monies for allowing these loads, but will charge permit rates for the transporting of the equipment.

   When asked if these convoys set up Idaho for repeated future loads, Hoff said that no one has said this will become a “high and wide corridor.” He said that his department has heard nothing to that effect.

Chamber fundraising

   Money is needed for the 4th of July celebration and fireworks. The chamber is seeking raffle items from businesses and individuals. Raffle tickets are $3 each or two for $5. The raffle drawing will be held at the 4th of July celebration. The theme follows the chamber’s motto: “Orofino a reason for every season.” There will be a major prize for each season.

   Some of the special prizes to be raffled are: an 8 ˝’ cantilevered picnic umbrella – representing spring; a BBQ – representing summer; a Steelhead rod/reel – representing fall; and two passes to Bald Mountain Ski Resort for winter.

   Cash donations may be mailed to the Orofino Chamber of Commerce at: P.O. Box 2346, Orofino, ID 83544.

Raft Race

   The cost is $15 for entrants to the Raft Race.

Business after Hours

   The next Business after Hours get-together will be sponsored by Edward Jones on Aug. 12, between 5 and 7 p.m.

Next meeting

   Rick Brazzel, of the U.S. Forest Service, will visit at the next regular meeting scheduled for July 7, at 12 noon, at the Ponderosa Restaurant.