The megaload made it to Dale, midway between Pendleton and Mount Vernon, on Wednesday night, but has been stopped again by icy conditions and a snowy weather forecast.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) says the load could remain parked beside Highway 395 at Dale, until the weather allows it to travel again – perhaps Friday.
The load is allowed to move only at night.
ODOT earlier said that Omega Morgan, the hauling company, planned to take the load as far south as Mount Vernon on Wednesday night. The agency now says that if the load can roll again on Friday evening, it could reach Mount Vernon by Saturday morning, and go through John Day that night.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a 60 percent chance of rain or snow in Dale on Thursday night, with overnight lows of 25 degrees. The weekend forecast is for clear weather.
Butch Phelps at the Dale Store expects the weather could be a big factor in the next move.
“We’re supposed to have snow and freezing rain tonight and tomorrow,” he said on Thursday.
Phelps said the icy roads slowed the rig’s progress on Wednesday night. He said that ODOT put de-icer on the road, but it freezes at 22 degrees.
“It was eight degrees last night,” he said. “It took them four hours to go just 14 miles.”
The next stretch also should be challenging, he said, noting there’s a steep stretch three miles south of Dale, with a corner marked for 40 mph.
(By the Blue Mountain Eagle)
(Also appeared as Megaload Faces Another Possible Weather Delay in the East Oregonian)