Mechanical problems at high elevations mean a Canadian company’s giant load of evaporator equipment will remain holed up on the Idaho side of Lost Trail Pass for a second weekend.
Oregon-based Omega Morgan’s 380-foot megaload convoy is parked alongside U.S. Highway 93, some 10 miles from the top of the pass. One or more of the three trucks transporting the load apparently had mechanical issues, according to Duane Williams of the Montana Department of Transportation.
A second, smaller load reportedly remained parked south of Salmon, Idaho, less than 40 miles behind.
“They’re kind of bunched up there, so depending on weather, the second one maybe could come up Monday night/Tuesday morning,” Williams said Friday afternoon. “We would ask it to stay (south of) Darby until the first one reaches Bonner.”
The designated resting area after the first Montana leg is near milepost 23, about three miles south of where Williams had originally said the loads would stop for the day.
The Montana Department of Transportation issued a permit for the lead load a week ago to travel the 100 miles from Lost Trail Pass to Bonner, where it will be placed on a shorter, taller trailer before proceeding on to Canada and the oil fields in northeastern Alberta. A third and final load waits for a transport trailer at the Port of Umatilla.
“They have three loads, and the first and third ones they’re wanting to reconfigure,” MDT’s Duane Williams said this week. “The second one they’re wanting to go all the way through.”
The Choteau Acantha reported Wednesday that all three loads will turn off Montana Highway 200 at Bowmans Corner east of Rogers Pass and head north through Augusta and Choteau.
MDT had ruled that in their original, longer configurations, the first and third loads would have to continue on to Sun River before turning toward Fairfield on U.S. Highway 89. That was to avoid having to alter computerized warning signals at Bowmans Corner.
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