Omega Morgan applies for MT megaload permit

By The Associated Press December 04, 2013 11:43 am

MISSOULA, Mont. — Montana Department of Transportation officials are considering an application from an Oregon company to move an oversized load of refinery equipment through the western part of the state to an oil sands project in Alberta, Canada.

Omega Morgan began this week moving the water purification equipment from the Port of Umatilla in Oregon. With the transport vehicles, the unit is almost 380 feet long and weighs more than 900,000 pounds. The load is 19 feet high and 22 feet wide.

A court order in Idaho diverted the route away from the northern part of the state. The equipment will instead travel through eastern Oregon, across central Idaho and into Montana over Lost Trail Pass.

"We're still reviewing it, but I guess I don't see anything alarming that would stand out," Motor Carrier Services administrator Duane Williams told the Missoulian.

Williams said he does not expect the load to reach Montana for a couple of weeks.

In fact, the Idaho Department of Transportation had not issued a permit for the shipment as of Tuesday.

"We're working with Omega Morgan on a schedule and the number of days the journey through Idaho is anticipated to take," Adam Rush said.

Williams said the Montana leg would begin at Lost Trail Pass, where U.S. Highway 93 crosses from Idaho in Montana. The company plans nightly stops south of Darby, at the Lolo weigh station, Bonner, the intersection of Montana Highway 200 and U.S. Highway 287, Valier and Cut Bank before crossing into Canada at the Port of Sweetgrass.

The permit is expected to require the loads to move at night and not hold up traffic for more than 10 minutes.