Big water gear to be transported on Idaho's US 12

BOISE, Idaho -- A large shipment of water-purification equipment will be transported through Idaho to Montana on a disputed mountain highway where big loads have been the subject of oversized controversy.

The Idaho Transportation Department announced Wednesday a trucking company will transport the purification equipment on U.S. Highway 95 and U.S. Highway 12 next week.

The shipment weighs 520,000 pounds and is 300 feet long, 20 feet wide and 22 feet high.

Shipments along Highway 12, which parallels the Lochsa River through northcentral Idaho, have been the subject of heated debate after Exxon Mobil sought to use the route to get enormous refinery gear from a Snake River port to Canadian oil sands.

Amid opposition, the company trimmed its loads and used another route.

The purification equipment begins its four-day journey Monday night.