Drive Our Economy Hails Success of Test Module
Test Run Demonstrated Professionalism in Planning and Execution of Highway 12 Transportation Plan, Helped Make Project Even Safer
BOISE, IDAHO, May 4, 2011— Community, business and agricultural leaders in Idaho and Montana today pointed to a just-completed dry run by an oversized test module as proof positive that oversized shipping along U.S. Highway 12 can be done efficiently and safely, provided it is well-planned and professionally executed. The test module was designed to provide an added layer of redundancy to an already comprehensive, highly detailed transportation plan nearly three years in the making.
“We’re very encouraged by the success of the test module, because it did what it was supposed to do by identifying any issues that need to be resolved in order for the loads to move with minimal impact to the public. Those issues have now been identified and corrected,” said Doug Mattoon, executive director of Valley Vision. “An awful lot of small businesses are eager for this project to begin. Many businesses in the Lewis-Clark Valley have cited examples of the positive impacts from this project. They recognize that at this point, the delays are being driven by special interest group opposition who care more about political agendas than jobs. Families and small businesses are struggling because of the economic slowdown, and this project will put badly needed dollars back into our communities.”
The $1.2 million test module, which traveled successfully from the Port of Lewiston, across Idaho and into Montana, helped transportation officials involved in the project identify and correct several potentially challenging aspects of the project in a real-world setting.
The U.S. Highway 12 transportation plan has broad statewide support in both Idaho and Montana. Along Highway 12, residents support the project by an overwhelmingly two-to-one margin, according to polling. The project is expected to generate an estimated $100 million in regional economic activity.
“There’s no question the transportation departments in Idaho and Montana, as well as the companies involved in oversized shipping have done their homework, but this exercise really showed that the professionals working on this project are putting safety ahead of speed. That commitment to safety is obviously very reassuring to local residents, most of whom already support this important economic development project,” said Mark Moberley, a retired former bureau chief of the Montana Department of Transportation Motor Carriers Division. “The test module’s success also undermines and discredits the main argument coming from out-of-state opponents of trucking who are trying to delay this project – that safety is being relegated to the back burner. It’s clearly not.”
Drive Our Economy is a task force of community, business, and agricultural leaders who have joined together to promote economic strategies that benefit Idaho and Montana. For additional information, visit: www.DriveOurEconomy.org. To speak with any Drive Our Economy experts, please contact [email protected].