After a week in Marsing, megaload hits the road

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comDecember 30, 2013 

More than 100 onlookers gathered in Marsing late on Dec. 28 to watch the megaload move through town. A handful of protesters also brought signs to demonstrate against the refinery equipment on its way to Canada.

DARIN OSWALD — Idaho Statesman

Crews were able to move the controversial shipment of oil production equipment about 96 miles over the weekend, from the Marsing area to south of Mountain Home.

More than 100 people, including a handful of protesters, turned out to see the 380-foot, 450-ton megaload before it finally left Marsing on Idaho 78 late Saturday, according to Idaho State Police. There were no major problems, and no tickets were issued, ISP spokeswoman Teresa Baker said Sunday.

The gigantic shipment, which is being handled by Portland-based transport company Omega Morgan, is currently stopped south of the Elmore County town of Hammett, according to Idaho Transportation Department and Omega Morgan officials. When it resumes travel, possibly tonight, it will go northwest on Interstate 84 to Mountain Home and then east on U.S. 20.

The megaload — the first of three massive shipments coming through Idaho en route to Canada — arrived at U.S. 95 and Idaho 55 near Marsing last Monday. It stayed there all week due to the Christmas holiday and then fog later in the week.

The load is expected to move from 35 to 100 miles per day, Omega Morgan spokeswoman Holly Zander said Sunday. It’s limited to traveling between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and may not impede motorists on Idaho highways for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Weather permitting, the megaload was expected to be on the move again Sunday night. But the New Year’s holiday will slow its exit from Idaho.

Adam Rush, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department, said the transportation permit for large loads (in excess of 10 feet wide, 100 feet long or 14.6 feet high) may not travel after 4 p.m. on the day preceding a major holiday (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas). Travel is permitted at dawn the day after the holiday.

Environmental and tribal groups have protested the controversial oil refinery megaload, which is being moved 500 miles from Portland to the tar sands oil region of western Canada. Environmentalists are concerned about air pollution caused by production of oil from the tar sands, and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation are upset they weren’t consulted about the shipment.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service