The first of three Omega Morgan megaloads headed for Montana and points beyond remains stalled by weather on the Idaho side of Lost Trail Pass.
“We’re still at milepost 341 on Highway 93. I don’t think we’ll be moving tonight because of weather conditions. Possibly tomorrow,” Holly Zander of Omega Morgan said Tuesday afternoon.
On Friday, Montana transportation officials issued a permit for the load to travel as far as Bonner, where it will be reconfigured and subject to a different transportation plan.
“The permit is specific to each load and trailer configuration, etc., so the permit for the first load is just to Bonner,” Duane Williams of the Montana Department of Transportation said.
Weekend travel isn’t allowed in Montana, and snow over the weekend hemmed in the 450-ton, 22-foot-wide convoy that, counting three push and pull semi-trucks is 380 feet long.
Two avalanches reportedly slid across Highway 93 at milepost 345 above the Omega Morgan load late Saturday, one 900 feet in length and the other 100 feet long. Both slides were cleared and all lanes were open by 10 a.m. Sunday.
The highway appeared almost clear of ice and snow by Tuesday afternoon, with clearing weather forecast for the next few days.
The load arrived at its current pullout some 9.5 miles from the pass on the west side of a narrow stretch of Highway 93 two weekends ago.
All three Omega Morgan loads are bound for mining operations in the oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Once the big rig tops Lost Trail Pass and enters Montana, it will move on Highway 93 through the Bitterroot Valley and Missoula, until it reaches Interstate 90 for the relatively short journey to Bonner.