Here's the latest on the 900,000-pound mega-load, still crawling across Eastern Oregon in its way-behind-schedule trek, which will take it on a circuitous route through Southern Idaho before crossing into Montana and up to the tar sands oil fields in Alberta, Canada.
According to Omega Morgan, the contracted hauler of the giant piece of equipment, the mega-load rolled into John Day, Ore., early this morning and, if the weather holds out, the rig is expected to pass through Unity, Ore., and into Vale, Ore., by early Wednesday, Dec. 18.
"It's standard for us not to be on a straight line," Omega Morgan spokeswoman Holly Zander told Boise Weekly. "We have to make sure the road can bear the load, make sure all the turns and bridges are safe. This is something we do every day, but it will burn up a lot more fuel to take this longer route."
Once the mega-load rolls through Vale, Ore., it will continue west on Highway 20, then head south on Oregon Highway 201 past Nyssa, Ore. Once the load hits the Idaho border near Homedale, the plan is to skirt south on Idaho Highway 78, past Bruneau Dunes State Park. It'll meet up with I-84 and backtrack to Mountain Home, then head north on Highway 20. The load will continue along Highways 30 and 28 until it meets up with Highway 93 in Salmon, and crosses over the Montana border at Lost Trail Pass.
The route through Idaho is 476 miles long.
Meanwhile, activists with Wild Idaho Rising Tide say they're already planning several Idaho protests as the latest rig crawls across the state. WIRT said it is planning to protest in or near Marsing, Mountain Home, Bellevue and Salmon.
"For now, we await the results of our colleagues' and our public records requests for Omega Morgan travel plans, permits, schematics and communications with state agencies, sent to the Idaho Transportation Department," said Helen Yost, WIRT community organizer.