VALE — The Canada-bound megaload shipment that was held up today near Ironside is scheduled to begin moving toward Vale tonight, said Tom Strandberg, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation. It will start traveling at 8 p.m. and is expected to reach Vale around 4 a.m. Friday morning.
Snow in the forecast halted the 901,000-pound convoy after it reached Malheur County Tuesday afternoon, where it stopped at milepost 237 — about four miles east of Ironside and about 41 miles northwest of Vale.
Hillsboro-based shipping company Omega Morgan had received special permission to travel during the day to avoid frosting on the passes over Eldorado summit on U.S. Highway 26, west of Ironside. Its permit allows for travel from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The load has been traveling through Eastern Oregon since late November to reach Idaho near Homedale, where it will begin its journey through Idaho, Montana and into Canada to the tar sands oil fields.
A preliminary route had the convoy moving from Homedale to Marsing, traveling southeast on state Highway 78, along the Snake River, then going up to Mountain Home to connect to U.S. Highway 20 for the crossing to U.S. Highway 93, which would take it to Montana.