The on-again, off-again Eastern Oregon megaload seems to be back on track for Sunday.
Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative officials say they wont need to do line work that would have delayed Omega Morgans oversized transport.
Jim Horan, spokesman for OTEC, said the utility had some misunderstandings about what Omega Morgan wanted, but company officials contacted him to clarify things after news spread of a possible delay.
The company has targeted Sunday as a start date for the 380-foot-long load of oil refinery equipment to travel through Eastern Oregon and into Idaho.
On Wednesday OTEC said that was unlikely, given the need for a couple of weeks even to schedule crews to raise lines and move poles. However, Horan said, OTEC crews and the Omega Morgan foreman have determined that they dont need to do that advance work.
They think they can make it under all of our lines, Horan said Thursday.
Horan said Omega Morgan suggested OTEC workers accompany the load through the utilitys territory, but so far that isnt in the plans. He said utility workers may be on location at certain sites to ensure safety and clearance.
The load is a 90-foot-long water purification vessel that will be barged from Portland, where it was manufactured, to Umatilla and then taken on a transport rig through Hermiston and east to Pendleton on Interstate 84. The load will travel south on Highway 395 through Long Creek to Mt. Vernon before taking Highway 26 east through John Day and Prairie City to Ontario and into Idaho.
The trip would take six days under ideal conditions, but with weather and the Thanksgiving holiday, it could take nearly two weeks to complete.
The destination of the load is Alberta, Canada, home of the tar sands oil region. Omega Morgan project manager Erik Zander said because of the scarcity of routes that will accommodate such big loads, the load has to go south to go north.
Transportation officials say the megaloads cannot go by freeway the whole way because the overpasses are too low.
Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Strandberg said the permit hasnt been finalized yet, but that could be wrapped up on Friday.