Idaho Transportation Department releases statement regarding USFS management plan for U.S. 12
BOISE - The following is the Idaho Transportation Department’s response to the Forest Service announcement on their final criteria for the management of oversized loads on the section of U.S. 12 from Kooskia to the Montana border.
“Following a 2013 ruling by Judge Winmill, ITD has concurrent jurisdiction with the U.S. Forest Service on U.S. 12 from Kooskia to the Montana border. ITD was not a part of the agreement between the Forest Service, The Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Rivers United.
“ITD developed its own rule after conducting a robust
public involvement and outreach effort last summer. ITD’s rule goes above and beyond the original
Forest Service interim criteria and adds several new criteria specifically
aimed at addressing safety and traffic concerns, while allowing for the free movement of commerce.
“The ITD rule has criteria that focuses on the safety of the travelling public and the environment. The criteria limits the number of loads on the road at any given time, requires loads to be inspected and escorted by law enforcement and emergency medical services, restricts the use of recreational turnouts, prohibits road modifications unless the Forest Service is advised in advance and approves, requires safety lighting, requires travel to occur at night when in the best interest of the public, prohibits travel during holidays or when traffic volume is high, prohibits travel during hazardous weather conditions, and potentially prohibits travel during weekends if the traffic volume is predicted to be high.
“ITD has studied this issue for many years and has been issuing permits for commercial vehicles on U.S. 12 since 1962.
“The Idaho Transportation Department will apply our 'State Safety and Travel Requirements' and issue permits accordingly. We will then provide the Forest Service the opportunity to review our permits for this section of U.S. 12. Under their concurrent jurisdiction, the Forest Service will apply their criteria and decide whether or not to allow the loads.”
The Idaho Transportation Department is responsible for all highways on the State Highway System – interstates, state highways and U.S. routes. All other roads are under the jurisdiction of the local, city or county entity.