Megaloads Prep for Idaho Crossing

First oversized load could leave Clarkston on Monday

Two megaloads carrying water purification vessels may be traveling through north central Idaho soon if the weather cooperates.

Transport company Omega Morgan plans to move the first shipment from the Port of Wilma just west of Clarkston to the Idaho/Montana border on U.S. Highway 12, according to a news release issued Friday by the Idaho Transportation Department.

The journey would start as early as about 10 pm on Monday and end no later than 5:30 am on Tuesday.

It appears that road conditions could vary significantly on the trip.  The National Weather Service predicts a 20-percent chance of rain and temperatures in the 40s on Monday in Clarkston.

The low at Powell, near the Montana state line, is expected to be 25 degrees on Monday evening under mostly cloudy skies, after a day where the possibility of snow is 80 percent.

The second shipment is expected to move on a different evening and take a similar amount of time to cover the roughly 170 miles between Clarkston and the Montana border.  No information on a date for that shipment has been supplied by the transportation department.

Flagging teams, signs, and pilot vehicles will accompany the megaloads, to direct vehicles around them.  Traffic delays must not exceed 15 minutes.

The transportation department does not know which company manufactured the vessels, where they are headed after they leave Idaho, or if they have any connection with another megaload that Omega Morgan shipped earlier in the fall, transportation department spokesman Adam Rush in Boise said.

These shipments are significantly smaller than the previous one.  They are both 53 feet long, about 20 feet tall, and about 20 feet wide.  They each weigh 80,000 pounds.

An earlier shipment of other water purification equipment was 236 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 22 feet tall.  It weighed 520,000 pounds.

That shipment was headed to an undisclosed customer in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, in the heart of the Canadian oil sands.

Omega Morgan has not requested other megaload permits, Rush wrote in an email.

(By Elaine Williams, The Lewiston Tribune)

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