Megaload to stay parked near Marsing; second load on its way

csewell@idahostatesman.comDecember 22, 2013 

After taking three weeks to travel about 315 miles through Oregon, a 450-ton, 380-foot-long load of oil refinery equipment finally made it to Idaho Monday morning.

The load will stay parked at the junction of U.S. 95 and Idaho 55 until Friday night, state transportation officials say.

It left Vale, Ore., Sunday night, traveling east and south through Nyssa and Adrian to cross the border into Idaho near Homedale. Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Adam Rush said no problems occurred on the load's first leg of its nearly 500-mile journey across the state to Montana.

On Sunday night a second load left Umatilla, Ore., and traveled to just south of Pendleton. It will follow the same route to and through Idaho. A third load is expected to leave in the coming weeks.

Under its ITD permit, the load only can travel between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. While traveling it cannot delay traffic more than 15 minutes before pulling over to let traffic pass.

From Homedale, the load travels south on U.S. 95 and Idaho 55, passing through part of Marsing to connect with Idaho 78. It will take Idaho 78 through Marsing, Grand View and Hammett to Interstate 84 and briefly travel west on I-84 to Idaho 20 and then go through Fairfield and Arco before heading north to Salmon and then traveling U.S. 93 and the Lost Trail pass into Montana. Oregon-based hauler Omega Morgan is transporting all three loads equipment to the tar sands oil project in northern Alberta, Canada.

Because of its size, slow travel speed and required frequent turnouts, the load has not traveled more than 50 miles a night.

The first load left Umatilla on Dec. 2. Protesters delayed the load one night and weather and caused the other delays.

View Megaload route to Canada in a larger map

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