NAMPA — An Omega Morgan megaload carrying a heat exchanger is scheduled to pass through Homedale and south to Idaho 55 sometime within the next week, barring any further weather or scheduling delays.
Adam Rush, spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department, said the load is 22.2 feet wide, 18.11 feet tall, 376 feet long and weighs 901,000 pounds. The load began its journey out of the Port of Umatilla in Oregon earlier this week and is ultimately destined for the Port of Sweetgrass in Alberta, Canada, but it must first trek through Idaho and Montana.
Megaloads have long been plagued by protesters, from environmentalists to Native American tribes who want to keep the loads off the roads. The same was true for this load when it left Umatilla, where tribal members kept the equipment from moving Sunday night, The Associated Press reported. Two protesters locked themselves to the rig Sunday, and by the time officers removed them, it was too late for the megaload to make it to its first planned stop site. Environmentalists object to the shipment on the grounds it will add to global warming. Umatilla tribal members say they weren’t adequately consulted by the government about a trip through Eastern Oregon territory where they have a treaty interest and concerns about potential damage.
The truck hit trouble again on Tuesday near Pendleton because of wintry weather that covered roads in snow and ice.
A court order in Idaho diverted the route away from the northern part of the state earlier this year, forcing them to travel the long way around. The Montana Department of Transportation is reviewing an application from the company that would allow them to pass through the western part of the state.
ITD has not issued a permit for the shipment yet, however.
“We’re working with Omega Morgan on a schedule and the number of days the journey through Idaho is anticipated to take,” Rush told The Associated Press.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.