ITD issues permit for another megaload through southern Idaho

csewell@idahostatesman.comJanuary 3, 2014 

megaload, environmental protest, marsing

More than 100 onlookers gathered in Marsing late Saturday night Dec. 28, 2013 to watch the controversial megaload move through town. A handful of protestors also brought signs to demonstrate against the 450-ton, 380-foot-long refinery equipment on its way to Canada.


A second oversized load will soon begin slowly making its way across southern Idaho.

The Idaho Transportation Department on Friday issued a permit to Omega Morgan to move a shipment 23 feet wide, 19 feet tall, 349 feet long and weighing 799,900 pounds.

This shipment is taking the same route as the previous Omega Morgan transport, which crossed the Idaho border Dec. 23 and is now east of Arco.

The Canada-bound shipments of oil refinery equipment are making a 1,200-mile trek from Oregon to the Montana/Canada border. By car that trip would be about 600 miles and could be completed in one to two days. But because of the load's height, any routes with overpasses are out; because of its weight, any routes with inadequate bridges are out; and because of its length, any routes with tight turns are out. The journey includes a nearly 500-mile circuitous route through southwest and eastern Idaho starting near Homedale and running south of the Snake River to a river crossing near Mountain Home. Then it will travel north, including a 20-mile stretch along the Salmon River, before traversing the 7,014-foot Lost Trail Pass into Montana.

The second load could enter Idaho Sunday morning, depending on weather conditions.

The ITD permit only allows travel between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and limits delays to other vehicles to 15 minutes.

Flaggers and pilot vehicles will accompany the transport vehicle and notify its driver when other vehicles are approaching. The shipment then will move to the nearest available pullout, pull to the side of the highway and let other vehicles pass.

Omega Morgan's first load left Umatilla, Ore., on Dec. 2 and arrived in Idaho near Homedale on Dec. 23. Since then it has traveled about 300 miles to Howe.

On Thursday night it traveled less than 25 miles due to a truck engine overheating. It will not travel Friday night due to weather; if conditions improve it will resume travel Saturday night.

The load is still about 170 miles from the Montana border. The Associated Press reported on Friday that Montana has not yet issued a permit because it is still reviewing Omega Morgan's proposed route.

Omega Morgan plans to bring a third shipment through southern Idaho at a later date.

View Megaload route to Canada in a larger map

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