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. Its 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 Years 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 Years 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 werent consulted about the shipment.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413