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BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department has issued a permit for Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil to transport an oversized test load on U.S. Highway 12 beginning on Feb. 22.

ITD Motor Vehicle Administrator Alan Frew also issued a memorandum of decision Monday that states Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil's requests for permits for the remaining 200 loads should be granted.

Frew said Monday the test load was proposed by Exxon to make sure its preparations are adequate for the loads to be shipped on U.S. 12 from Lewiston through northwestern Montana and into Alberta, Canada.

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The test load is 24 feet wide, 30 feet high, 208 feet long and weighs approximately 508,000 pounds.

ITD also began a contested case hearing process to allow opponents of the shipments to present evidence and testimony. No timeline for the hearings have been set.

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