A behemoth load of oil refinery equipment, destined to pass through southern Blaine County, remained stalled by inclement weather Tuesday in Oregon.
“It’s currently still south of Pendleton,” said Holly Zander, spokeswoman for Omega Morgan, the Oregon company hired to move the load. “It’s all weather-dependent.”
Often referred to as a megaload, the shipment consists of a 330,000-pound water purification system destined for the tar sands oil-producing region of Alberta, Canada. With the three trucks and the trailers needed to move the equipment, the whole load weighs just over 450 tons and is 376 feet long.
Manufactured in Portland, Ore., the equipment was transported by barge up the Columbia River to the Port of Umatilla. It left Umatilla the evening of Dec. 2 but only made it about 40 miles south before wintry road conditions led Omega Morgan to stop the shipment until the weather improved.
Zander said the once the shipment starts moving again, it will take it about six more days to traverse Oregon before it enters Idaho. Then it will take six to seven days to cross Idaho before entering Montana.
“It’s currently still south of Pendleton. It’s all weather-dependent.”
Omega Morgan has been hauling megaloads of refinery equipment to a General Electric subsidiary in Alberta for the past few years. However, the company is now prohibited by court order from using a preferred route through northern Idaho along U.S. Highway 12.
Instead, the company has turned to a route through southern Idaho that begins on U.S. Highway 19 near Homedale west of Boise. Eventually the route goes thorough Blaine and Camas counties on U.S. Highway 20.
Terry Smith: email@example.com