ITD subcommittee to review possible 129,000-pound truck routes in East Idaho

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal The Idaho Transportation Department is considering allowing 129,000-pound tractor-trailers on sections of East Idaho highways, including Highway 91 from I-86 to Alameda Road.

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
The Idaho Transportation Department is considering allowing 129,000-pound tractor-trailers on sections of East Idaho highways, including Highway 91 from I-86 to Alameda Road.

By Kendra Evensen, kevensen@journalnet.com 

Several businesses are hoping to start driving 129,000-pound trucks with reducible loads on portions of East Idaho highways.

Great Western Malting, Mid Crystal Farms, White Pine Farms, K/K Transportation, Handy Truck Line, Pocock Trucking, WinCo Foods and Kiva Energy, have all asked the Idaho Transportation Department to approve routes that are currently restricted to 105,500-pound trucks with reducible loads.

The requests affect portions of U.S. 26, I-86, Idaho 37, Idaho 38, U.S. 91, Idaho 34, U.S. 89, Idaho 61 and U.S. 30.

Adam Rush, ITD’s public involvement coordinator, said staff will present route analyses and public comment that was taken earlier this year to an Idaho Transportation Board subcommittee during a meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the ITD headquarters in Boise. The meeting will also be available via video conference at ITD’s District 5 office, located at 5151 S. Fifth Avenue in Pocatello.

The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to the full Idaho Transportation Board in the future. The board will have the final say, Rush said.

While no public comment will be taken during Wednesday’s meeting, Rush said people can always contact him at (208) 334-8119 or adam.rush@itd.idaho.gov if they have any questions.

He noted that the heavier trucks would typically be semis hauling two trailers instead of one.

“The intent is to allow shipping companies to move more cargo or goods per load,” Rush said, adding that such a move can reduce the number of trucks on the highway and improve efficiency and safety.

In addition, the trucks would have more axles, which can help better distribute the weight, he said.

Many of the businesses are making the requests in an effort to improve efficiency and competitiveness, according to their applications.

“By allowing WinCo Foods to haul the 129,000 weight it will reduce the number of loads being transported to our Pocatello retail outlet store thus reducing the carbon foot print and fuel consumption caused by running the extra trucks to service this portion of WinCo Foods business and allowing us to stay competitive on our pricing of Grocery product,” according to WinCo’s application.

WinCo officials expect the number of trips they need to make to decrease between 20 and 25 percent each year, reducing traffic congestion and road wear if the change is approved, according to their application.

While WinCo transports grocery items, other businesses say they want to haul products like malting barley, wheat and other agricultural commodities, as well as propane and cement.

Rush said the businesses have requested routes specific to their needs; however, anyone could drive 129,000-pound trucks with reducible loads on the roads if the routes are approved.

Rush noted that the Idaho Transportation Board could ultimately decide to approve all, some or none of the routes in the months ahead.

Here’s a closer look at the routes that have been requested, according to an ITD news release:

U.S. 26 from the Bingham County/Bonneville County line to Blackfoot (Milepost 276.53 to Milepost 306.104).

I-86 Business Loop — I-86 in American Falls to Idaho 39 (Milepost 4.08 to Milepost 4.61 and Milepost 100.26 to Milepost 101.87).

Idaho 37 from the Oneida County/Power County line to I-86 (Milepost 37.48 to Milepost 68.71).

Idaho 38 from I-15 to Holbrook (Milepost 0 to Milepost 23.44).

U.S. 91 from Preston to I-15 (Milepost 9.21 to Milepost 42.54).

U.S. 91 from Alameda to I-86 in Pocatello (Milepost 77.89 to Milepost 80).

Idaho 34 from the Blackfoot Reservoir to the Wyoming border (Milepost 78.07 to Milepost 113.6).

U.S. 89 from Geneva to the Wyoming border (Milepost 41.17 to Milepost 44.24).

U.S. 89 from the Utah border to Geneva (Milepost 0 to Milepost 44.24).

Idaho 61 from the Wyoming border to Geneva (Milepost 0 to Milepost .74).

U.S. 30 from Great Western Malting to Yellowstone Avenue (Milepost 333 to Milepost 335.77).