Mammoet megaload concerns voiced at public meeting in Moscow

MOSCOW, ID - Wednesday night, Moscow city leaders met with Latah county and Idaho Transportation Department officials to discuss the megaloads that are expected to roll through Moscow in the near future.

Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains what concerns the city's employees and citizens have when it comes to these one-point-six million pound loads.

"When does it finally get to the point where these loads just don't make sense any longer?," said Moscow City Council Member Wayne Kruass. "How much bigger can they get?"

Leaders from the city of Moscow held a public meeting on Wednesday to discuss the megaloads that transport company Mammoet plans to haul through town.

"There is not much more we could get up through here," said Mommoet Project Manager Chip Kachel.

Mommoet plans to transport three identical loads north on Highway 95. The rig will be about 440 feet long, 27 feet wide and 16 feet tall.

"We're able to dedicate cars to stay with the load," said Idaho State Police Lieutenant Allen Oswald.

Oswald said the biggest concern is public safety, and Mommoet will contract officers to help insure things run smoothly.

"Basically, Mommoet is paying us to monitor their movements," said Oswald.

Infrastructure is another concern.

"The way I look at it is, you got one this is essentially like 16 trucks all packed together," said Moscow Public Works Director Les MacDonald.

MacDonald explained that the megaloads shouldn't damage the roads or the utilities under them because the one-point-six-million pounds will be distributed over a large number of wheels and axles.

"The road really sees no difference," said McDonald.

City employees explained how their departments plan to prepare for the megaloads, and none of them seemed too concerned about it's effects.

"It's got to happen, make it happen without a problem," said Krauss.

And while the city continues to prepare, some citizens will continue to protest.

"It's still an issue of building up more infrastructure for dirty energy projects," said Wild Idaho Rising Tide representative Helen Yost.

"No matter how big, no matter how small, we don't want to see these things come through our town," said Moscow resident Ashley Lipscomb.

"You know, they're real, and they're a threat to the integrity of our community," said Moscow resident Brett Haverstick.

ITD said they should have a better idea of when they'll issue permits to Mammoet to move the megaloads later this month. When a permit is issued, ITD will notify the public, and the transport would happen sometime between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.