Mega-Load Protesters Chain Themselves to Giant Rig



The latest chapter of mega-loads rolling across the region's thoroughfares began pretty much where the last one ended—with a healthy dose of melodrama.

This giant shipment—scheduled to roll across Eastern Oregon for a week or two before it heads into Idaho, over toward Montana and up to Alberta's Tar Sands oil fields—was waylayed in the late hours of Dec. 1 when two protesters locked themselves to the mega-load at the Port of Umatilla. The Associated Press reports that it took officials nearly two hours to remove the men.

The mega-load had already been delayed a full week after Oregon Department of Transportation officials heard an earful at a Nov. 26 public hearing when some officials of Eastern Oregon communities accused ODOT of a "disconnect" concerning the giant rigs.

The new route, through Eastern Oregon, is approximately 300 miles long, much of it rolling across Highways 395 and 26. When the mega-load arrives in Idaho—and there are expected to be at least two more that follow—the giant rig is expected to roll through the communities of Homedale and Marsing, before traveling on Interstate 84 past Mountain Home, and then moving to U.S. Highways 20, 28 and 93 before heading into Montana.