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First of Three Megaloads Approaches Salmon, Idaho

(Omega Morgan photo)
The first of three scheduled megaloads has been slowly moving through Idaho toward Montana, on its way to Canada.

Idaho Transportation Department officials say the megaload has passed through Arco and will go through Leadore before reaching Salmon, Idaho. They expect that to be accomplished within days and the plan would have the caravan cross into Montana over Lost Trail Pass.

However, Montana Department of Transportation officials do not expect to issue the permit for the megaload until next week, at the earliest. Until then, the shipment is expected to park in the Salmon area.

The Montana permit will also require the roads to be clear before the load can pass over them. So, weather may be a factor on how soon the shipment can move into the state. The equipment has also only been allowed moved at night to avoid much traffic disruption.

The 45-ton, 18-foot-high piece of oil production equipment is bound for the tar sands energy development area in Canada. The megaload is too tall for interstate underpasses, and most of the route is on two-lane and four-lane highways.

There are two other megaloads on their way from eastern Oregon on the same route as the first one.

Protesters have held demonstrations throughout the route and organizational meetings have been held in Missoula for future demonstrations in Montana.

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