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Controversial megaload to travel over U.S. Highway 12

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Aug 05 2013 10:29:33 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 05 2013 10:38:08 PM MDT
Controversial megaload to travel over U.S. Highway 12
MISSOULA, Mont. -

We have new information about the continuing controversy of megaloads heading over Lolo Pass south of Missoula.

NBC Montana talked to officials with the Idaho Department of Transportation who tell us they approved the shipment of a General Electric water purification vessel to travel over U.S. Highway 12 to Canada.

The megaload, transported by Oregon-based Omega Morgan, will ship out from Lewiston Idaho Monday at 10 p.m. and is headed to the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada.

We found out the load is expected to be on the road from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Transportation officials tell us if you are headed over Lolo Pass you can expect delays.

State of Montana officials have already signed off on a permit, but the megaload is brining plenty of opposition.

According to a press release from the Nez Perce tribe, leaders highly oppose the shipment citing land treaty violations.  Tribal leaders say they are concerned about the potential impacts the load may have on the land and they want the Forest Service to disallow the shipment.

In a press release, Forest Service officials state they do not support a decision by the Idaho Department of Transportation to permit an oversized load and they want a social assessment study done to better understand how the shipments impact the tribe. 

The megaload weighs 644,000 pounds, is 255 feet long, 21 feet wide and 24 feet tall according to the Idaho Department of Transportation. 

To read the full Nez Perce Tribe press release click here.

To read the full U.S. Forest Service press release click here.