Last Megaloads Depart From Lewiston This Week

Mar 6, 2012

RICHLAND, Wash. – If the weather holds, the last megaloads stranded at the Port of Lewiston will head out Tuesday toward Canada’s oil sands. These oversized truckloads of oil processing machinery have been very controversial.  Now oil companies have switched to shipping smaller loads out of the Port of Pasco.

Nearly every megaload that has shipped from Lewiston since last year has been dogged by protestors. The objectors have different motives including preserving rural highways and fighting global warming. From now on, Calgary-based Imperial Oil says it’s shipping its oversized loads out of the Port of Pasco. Those wide loads are up to two stories tall and up to two-thirds of a football field in length. Sam Good is with the port. She says offloading that machinery from barges on the Columbia River and shipping them north and east by truck takes about 50 employees in the Tri-Cities.

Sam Good: “The workers, if they are not from here, stay in our hotels and eat in our restaurants. So that’s an indirect benefit of having these companies come through here.”

These cut-down loads will travel on Highway 395 and Interstate 90 during the night. Some of the Moscow, Idaho-based protestors say they will continue to oppose the oil related shipments on their new routes.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio