The first of three so-called “megaloads” continued its eastern Oregon road trip overnight on Tuesday, leaving Pendleton shortly after 9 pm and traveling about 50 miles south on Highway 395.
The massive shipment of tar sands equipment destined for Alberta, Canada, arrived near Ukiah early on Wednesday morning. From there, it is scheduled to head farther south into Mount Vernon and east through John Day, before heading east on Highway 26 and crossing state lines into southern Idaho.
Omega Morgan, the Hillsboro trucking company hired to move the load, plans to keep driving so long as weather conditions remain clear. Icy roads previously stalled the convoy for a full week, though spokeswoman Holly Zander reported no problems on Tuesday.
Barring further delays, the megaload should spend another several days traveling through Oregon, Zander said. Two more shipments are prepared to travel along the same route, though dates have not yet been finalized.
The controversial project has been protested by activists, who argue that extracting oil from the tar sands is environmentally damaging and contributes to global warming. Local tribal members also said the route runs through their ceded territories without consultation.
Updates on the megaload’s progress and information about potential traffic delays are posted by the Oregon Department of Transportation at http://www.tripcheck.com.
(By George Plaven, East Oregonian)