Megaload Back On The Road As Blaine County Expresses Concern Over Shipment

Dec 11, 2013

A megaload is expected to cross into Southern Idaho from Oregon.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A shipment of nearly a million pounds of oil field equipment resumed its drive Tuesday night toward Canada. The load had been stopped for the past week by bad weather in eastern Oregon.

A spokeswoman for the company in charge of the shipment, Omega Morgan, says the "megaload" started moving again around 10 p.m.  Holly Zander says crews pulled the equipment about 50 miles along Highway 395 before stopping around 4 a.m.

Omega Morgan is expected to be issued the necessary permits to move the load through southern Idaho.

A spokesman with the Idaho Transportation Department says the permits will likely be issued the day before the load reaches the state. Spokesman Adam Rush says staff in three different ITD districts have helped evaluate the proposed route and the company’s transportation plan. The department has also completed a bridge analysis.

Rush says those evaluations haven't uncovered any red flags. Once the permits are issued, they'll be good for five days.

Meanwhile, the equipment will likely go through part of Blaine County. County Commissioners sent ITD a letter detailing concerns they have with the shipment. Commissioner Larry Schoen says the county isn’t opposed to the megaload, but they don’t want it to cause delays on Highway 20.

“We don’t want public safety to be compromised and that includes the access by emergency transport vehicles, police, fire and ambulances and that the roads that there not be exceptional risk to the roads and bridges and culverts,” Schoen said.

The letter also asks ITD to make sure the load and transport vehicles are in good condition and free of any contaminates that could pose an environmental risk.

The proposed route would cut across southern Idaho on Highway 78. The load will briefly travel on I-84 to Mountain Home, continue east on Highway 20 until it connects with Highway 28. The megaload then would travel northeast to Salmon and finish its Idaho-leg of the journey on Highway 93 to the Idaho/Montana border at Lost Trail Pass.

Here's the letter from Blaine County Commissioners.

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