Montana Will Issue Permits for Four Megaloads if Idaho Does

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The director of the Montana Department of Transportation says he will issue permits for ConocoPhillips to transport huge coke drums to a refinery in Billings if Idaho approves the project.

On Tuesday, a mediator recommended Idaho issue permits allowing four oversized loads to travel from the Port of Lewiston over U.S. Highway 12 and Lolo Pass into Montana. Idaho hasn’t made its decision.

Montana Transportation Department Director Jim Lynch tells KECI-TV that ConocoPhillips has done everything it needs to in order to get the permits for the oversized loads, but Montana can’t issue permits until Idaho does.

Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Jeff Stratten says road conditions still need to be judged safe by the agency’s Lewiston district engineer. And both sides are expecting opponents to appeal the mediator’s recommendation.

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