Eastern Idaho got a predawn glimpse December 15 of a mega-load crawling through the Gem State. No, not the 900,000-pound rig that was moving from Eastern Oregon before heading into Southern Idaho and looping up to the tar sands oil project in Alberta, Canada.
Instead, another giant load, approximately 500,000-pounds and nearly 200-feet long, rolled through the streets of Pocatello in the early morning hours of Dec. 15. The rocket-ship sized piece of natural gas equipment was coming out of Pocatello's Eaton Metal Products and, according to company officials, is one of the largest pressure vessels in Idaho history.
Eaton, which operates facilities in Denver and Salt Lake City, in addition to the Pocatello plant, has been in business since 1880 and claims to be the largest vessel and tank manufacturer in the Rocky Mountain region.
Meanwhile, environmental activists said they're keeping a close eye on another higher-profile mega-load inching across Eastern Oregon. The oversized rig is expected to enter Idaho just west of Homedale before skirting 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, crossing over the Montana border at Lost Trail Pass.
The route through Idaho is 476 miles.
Activists said they're already planning a series of Idaho protests to meet the mega-load in or near Marsing, Mountain Home, Bellevue and Salmon.