Rising Tide Monitors and Protests Highway 95’s Largest OmegaLoad

20131111_014930

On Sunday night, November 10, between 10 pm and 6 am, the Washington and Idaho activists and allies of Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) monitored and protested the heaviest and longest megaload of tar sands extraction equipment to recently traverse U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 90 in Idaho (photos and videos available on Tuesday) [1].

Like the controversial oversize evaporator that met four nights of fierce resistance from Nez Perce, Idle No More, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and allied activists on Highway 12 in early August, this core of a second shipment that also arrived at the Port of Wilma on July 22 weighs up to 644,000 pounds.  But unlike the earlier 255-foot-long megaload, this mammoth transport stretches 297 feet long, crowds out other traffic on mostly two-lane Highway 95 with its 16-foot width, and barely clears standard 16-foot-tall overpasses with its 15.9-foot height.

Permitted by the Idaho Transportation Department, the partial evaporator designed by General Electric subsidiary Resources Conservation Company International of Bellevue, Washington, and manufactured in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, is being hauled by the push and pull trucks and specialized trailer of Hillsboro, Oregon-based Omega Morgan.

Accompanied by a convoy of pilot cars, flaggers, and police vehicles, the inexplicably divisible and unstranded evaporator traveled on Sunday night from the Port of Wilma in Clarkston, Washington, on Idaho Highway 128 to Lewiston, and on Highway 95 to the northbound former weigh station between Worley and the Coeur d’Alene Casino.

On Monday night, November 11, between 10 pm to 6 am, this megaload will move from its currently parked and unguarded layover space north on U.S 95, through Coeur d’Alene, and east on Interstate 90 to the Montana border.  En route to the Hangingstone steam assisted gravity drainage tar sands mining operations of Athabasca Oil Corporation, southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the evaporator must safely pull over at previously identified locations in Idaho, to clear traffic “delayed” (fully stopped) no longer than 15 minutes under state laws.

Join with Wild Idaho Rising Tide, Spokane Rising Tide, and family, friends, and co-workers to protest and monitor another megaload builder of the largest industrial project on Earth!

Meet WIRT collective members at the corner of Second and Washington streets, on the north side of city hall in downtown Moscow, on Monday evening, November 11, at 8:30 pm, to document the safety and traffic violations of this largest of Highway 95 tar sands machines between Worley and Montana, with still and video cameras and written and audio notes of observations.  Converge with tar sands/megaload protest signs and banners, musical instruments and voices, to head north and/or east, scrutinize this fossil fuel onslaught, and demonstrate continuing opposition to tar sands traffic on ANY Northwest or northern Rockies highway.

Contact Wild Idaho Rising Tide at 208-301-8039 or Spokane Rising Tide at 509-879-7470 to learn how you can plan, prepare, and participate in the ongoing non-violent direct actions of this tireless, grassroots, frontline defense of indigenous and public lands, waters, air, and climate.

Tags: , ,