Schedule Changes for Latest Megaloads

First load has stopped at Kooskia; second load was scheduled to leave Port of Wilma on Tuesday night

Plans have changed for a pair of megaloads being hauled across Idaho on U.S. Highway 12 this week.

The first load left the Port of Wilma just west of Clarkston on Monday evening.  It reached Kooskia early Tuesday.  The transport of water purification equipment was originally scheduled to travel as far as the Montana border by Tuesday morning, and the Idaho Transportation Department had no explanation for what prevented the shipment from going farther.

Weather sometimes stops megaloads.  Temperatures were in the low 30s with no precipitation at Powell, when the megaload was traveling.  Powell is frequently the place where conditions are among the most extreme on the route to Montana, because of its high elevation.

The second load was still anticipated to start its journey on Tuesday night and reach milepost 160, just two miles west of Powell, before 5:30 am today, said transportation department spokesman Adam Rush in Boise.

If crews had extra time, they were going to go back to Kooskia and start moving the first megaload to an unannounced stopping point, Rush said.

The National Weather Service called for a 100-percent chance of rain at Lowell and Powell, with temperatures above freezing late Tuesday and early today.

Each of the two shipments is 53 feet long, about 20 feet tall, and about 20 feet wide.  Both are roughly as long as a standard tractor-trailer but take up two lanes of traffic.  They pull over at least once every 15 minutes to allow other highway vehicles to pass.

They are carrying water purification vessels.  Where the cargo was manufactured and where it is headed continue to be a mystery.  The transportation department has not released those details.  The transport company, Omega Morgan, has not been available for an interview.

(By Elaine Willliams, The Lewiston Tribune)

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