Not Yet, Calumet! Megaload & Refinery Protests


Dell Montana Megaload

According to various Montana media accounts, the third, final, and top Calumet Montana Refining hydrocracker section, bound for Great Falls, Montana, and hauled by recent Oregon megaload-dropping Bigge Crane and Rigging, left the Dell, Montana area on Wednesday evening, October 1 [1, 2].  Its arduous trek traversing Interstate 15, U.S. Highway 287, and Montana Highway 200 may require seven or fewer nights, like the second, heavier load.  Ongoing news breakdowns, if not blackouts, suggest that it may have entered Montana over Monida Pass by road, not by rail like the second such transport that crossed two Indian reservations [3, 4].  Uncritically publishing the September 29 Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) press release, the local, weekly Dillon Tribune newspaper finally printed front-page news of the move, but claimed no previous knowledge of these two heaviest-ever, regional megaloads weighing over 1.3 million pounds [5].  Despite MDT statements to the media, veterans of four-plus years of megaload opposition cannot trust MDT’s assertion that “there are no more expected ‘megaloads’ on the calendar, using any of the routes through Montana” [1].

As Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) and allies prepare for anti-megaload actions, heeding the same reasons we have always resisted fossil fuel evils, Washington and Idaho activists are still deliberating our travel options (that need your donations!) and anticipating that this behemoth could arrive in Great Falls as early as Wednesday night, October 7-8.  Because minimal and broken MDT website links to the presumably similar second megaload transport plan perhaps purposely offer little information, we contacted MDT, asking where on its website concerned citizens could find the Bigge transportation plan for these megaloads [6].  MDT staff replied that, “As of this evening (Friday, October 3), the current, parked location of Bigge Crane and Rigging’s megaload is milepost 108.8 on Interstate 15 [about 17 miles south of Butte].  They are expected to remain parked until Sunday night, at which point they will go through Butte.”  MDT referred additional questions regarding travel routes, planned stops, and past moves to Motor Carrier Services Division Administrator Duane Williams at 406-444-7312 or duwilliams@mt.gov.

WIRT’s best, mapped guess of the progression of routes and layover spots of the third Bigge/Calumet megaload in Montana, based on all currently available agency and media information, follows [7].
* Sunday night, October 5-6: Interstate 15 from Feely through Butte to Jefferson City (points B to C)
* Monday night, October 6-7: Jefferson City through Helena to Lyons Creek (points C to D)
* Tuesday night, October 7-8: Lyons Creek through Wolf Creek to U.S. Highway 287 and Montana Highway 200 to Sun River (points D to E)
* Wednesday night, October 8-9: Highway 200 to Frontage/Vaughn Road to Northwest Bypass to Third Street NW to Calumet Montana Refining (points E to F) Continue reading