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Discussion Starter #1
Oilfield trucks, trailers to be routed through Missoula, Lolo Pass starting next fall

Un-flipping believable. Unfortunately no information about the route up the Lochsa, Hwy 12, which is about a dumb of a place to take huge trucks as anywhere. I'm searching for info, and spreading the word. Seems like it could be a big deal for a wild and scenic river with a death-trap road as a route.

Sure, they'll build big pull-outs along the Blackfoot in Montana, WTF are they going to do along the Lochsa? I can only imagine some of those turns, and a 162' truck "crabbing" around them. Only if they Star Trek and can "beam" around them.:confused::confused::confused:
 

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Shouldn't they rethink this and re-route asphalt trucks over that road? Worked up the Poudre...
 

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That's weak sauce....they should ship the equipment to Vancouver and then drive it across Canada. Hopefully MTDOT will shut it down.
 

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No kidding, but I doubt MDT will do so. Not a lot of rationale since the roads they'll use are so big. Even Hwy 89, which used to be awfully scary in the wind, was widened. Nothing compares to how bad hwy 12 is though. I don't think there's any way across canada that would work? Not at least their transcontinental Hwy which has lots of snow sheds. They'd have to go way north, or south darn near to Eureka. I wonder why they don't just make the equipment up there? More jobs overseas gone I suppose.
 

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it took two asphalt cement spills into the poudre before CDOT would make their contractor reroute trucks into wyoming, avoiding the poudre down low.
 

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I just want to note that these trucks will not be carrying Haz Mats, they are big trucks carrying big loads that don't fit under most tunnels and overpasses. The equipment will be newly manufactured fractionation (frac) setups that won't get gunked up with haz mats until they reach the tar sands in Alberta. It's not like they will be trucking high grade nuclear waste from Lewiston to Missoula for a year. I'm sure this route was not the first choice, but it appears to be only available route without overpasses and tunnels.

Granted Rt. 12 is sketchy in a regular car and parallels a truly precious stretch of river, but I'm sure wide loads have taken that route before and will continue to do so. Will it suck if one goes off the road into the Lochsa? Yes. Will the plan create a lot of heavy truck traffic on an otherwise lightly traveled road? Yes. Will it get a little crazy during Memorial Day weekend? Probably. Is this the same thing as asphalt trucks falling into the Poudre? No.

I think this sucks more for the people in Missoula than it does for the Lochsa.
 

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That's weak sauce....they should ship the equipment to Vancouver and then drive it across Canada. Hopefully MTDOT will shut it down.
They could could come in Vancover and transfer to barge, travel up the columbia river and offload near kennewick, then travel, still have the crappy truck traffic to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
but I'm sure wide loads have taken that route before and will continue to do so. Will it suck if one goes off the road into the Lochsa? Yes. Will the plan create a lot of heavy truck traffic on an otherwise lightly traveled road? Yes. Will it get a little crazy during Memorial Day weekend? Probably. Is this the same thing as asphalt trucks falling into the Poudre? No.

I think this sucks more for the people in Missoula than it does for the Lochsa.
A wide load up the Lochsa? You know what "assume" means, don't you? This is more like a triple long, and triple wide load. The latest Idaho media reports make it sound a bit different, hence my interest in finding out what is really going on. How many loads is it, and what seasons? Are they incorporating the publics need and use of the roads? Have they even talked to the public or business owners along the way? I hope they'll be planning around big travel weekends, hopefully that's not a real concern. One or two of those suckers in the river, or jacked across the road, especially in the winter, that's the problem, and their fuel (hence the haz mat equipment on board).

The roads once you hit Missoula are so well developed, people might complain because they can't get to Walmart in 5 seconds to save 5 cents, but there's likely no real issue. Commuters up Hwy 200 will not be too happy, that's probably why they are planning pull-outs. Missoulians will actually enjoy the novelty. Until I realized they were coming up Hwy 12, it sounded pretty amazing actually.

Hwy 12 below Fish creek, not really a big deal unless they tear it up crabbing around corners. The further up the road eyou get, the more terrifying it is with just regular semi's, which don't even run in the winter. I really can't imagine they are planning to do this in the winter, but that sounded like their schedule from the Missoulian article. The idaho story said something like 40 trips only. That's a big difference, which is it?

Imagine a THREE STORY truck, over half a football field long, not only the potential for it to go in the river, but how would they get it out and what damage would they do getting it out, and what kind of debris would be left behind? Seems like a recipe for a cluster-fuck of a problem.
 

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Lhowe, can you link the Idaho story? The frac rigs I've seen aren't as big as you're describing, but maybe I'm not thinking of the right equipment. The stuff I've seen in WY is a little longer than a typical trailer and a bit taller. Seems like there was a lot of roadwork on the lower stretch of the Lochsa this Fall. Maybe they were prepping for the big trucks.

Are you sure that semis don't use that road in the winter? I think there was a story about an avy putting a truck in the river a year or two ago. Or was that a late season avy once they opened it back up to truck traffic?
 

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Sounds like NIMBY to me.

This is a pretty petty issue in the grand scheme of oil production and environmental effects. The road was built to facilitate commerce and military movement, not our trips to the river. I imagine that every time they resurface the road, as much oil ends up in the river as a tractor trailer dump, perhaps even 100x or 1000x more (why do you think the roads go from black to grey).

We demand this stuff when we drive to the river, heat our homes, power our homes and buy sporty yellow rafts. Some of us use alternative energy, but typically this only reduces our footprint slightly (still good and I am one of them).

I assume concerns of what "might" happen near the river pale in comparison to what is happening at the drilling sites from Fracking. Check out drilling effects in Garfield County CO or San Juan County NM (both NIMBY) and let me know if you still feel trucks driving down a road are a big deal.

I wonder how many over medicated boaters have dumped their leaky, unmaintained cars in there over the years? I assume at least a couple and they still let us drive there.

Just trying to keep things in perspective. Keep acting locally.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Lhowe, can you link the Idaho story? The frac rigs I've seen aren't as big as you're describing, but maybe I'm not thinking of the right equipment. The stuff I've seen in WY is a little longer than a typical trailer and a bit taller. Seems like there was a lot of roadwork on the lower stretch of the Lochsa this Fall. Maybe they were prepping for the big trucks.

Are you sure that semis don't use that road in the winter? I think there was a story about an avy putting a truck in the river a year or two ago. Or was that a late season avy once they opened it back up to truck traffic?
The Lewiston Trib doesn't give free web access to their stories, so the text is below.

I'm not 100% sure that the truck traffic goes to completely zero in the winter, but I know it goes way, way down.

Crazy enough with that thought in mind, the latest word from the IDT guy is that they are planning on doing it in the winter, as the Canadian officials won't allow it in the summer. Canada wants it to happen on frozen ground, which likely is better for less damage to the roads. It is also a time that there'll be less impact to the usual users of the road during the tourist seasons, and thus the quantity of traffic they'll impact. And yes, it sounds as if the company has been the source of funding to some of the improvements, hopefully they'll follow through afterwards with damage repair. Unfortunately, the companies usually make sure it works for them, and then move on.

So for now it's just a bit of double information, green light, not approved, who knows. It likely is already being pushed through at the Federal Government level and will go through token public invovlement. However, transparent government works best when the public is watching and working, and the best time to include accomodations is early during the planning stages, which it sounds like they are at now.

I'll probably just post update from now on on the Idaho group as I find out more information.
 
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