Oregon-based Omega-Morgan is in the midst of moving the first of two 644,000 pound evaporators from Washington state through Idaho on U.S. Highway 12, over Lolo Pass and through Missoula, on its way to the tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

After being stopped twice by protesters from the Nez Perce tribe, the 255 feet long, 24 feet high and 21 feet wide load is currently in Orofino, Idaho, about 140 miles from the Montana border.

Motor Carrier Services Administrator for the Montana Department of Transportation, Duane Williams, said on Wednesday that a permit has been issued for the shipment to pass through the state.

"They [Omega-Morgan] submitted an application a while back to move two loads through the state," Williams said. "It had a traffic control plan and the application was approved. Just last night they requested a permit, which we issued early this morning for one of those loads to go through Montana."

Williams described the traffic control plan.

"They will be moving at night while there's a lot less traffic," Williams continued. "The traffic control plan will enable them to have the least amount of delay possible for other cars, because there is a 10-minute rule, where they can't delay vehicles for over 10 minutes.

The load will travel anywhere from five miles per hour to 25 or 30, depending on road conditions. Williams said there are restrictions for travel over the weekends, as well.

"There will be no travel on Friday night-Saturday morning, or Saturday night-Sunday morning," Williams said. "Their first staging point is at mile post four, just inside the Montana border, so they may request an exception just for that first four miles in order to get into the state over the weekend. That would help them on the next leg of their trip and how they deal with utility companies, so we may allow an exception on that first four miles. After that, the weekend restrictions would start."

Williams said that Omega-Morgan has transported several loads through Montana before.

"I personally was on one of the loads, and they did a good job of moving through with very little delay for traffic."

Motor Carrier Services Administrator for the Montana Department of Transportation, Duane Williams