News reports that the megaload of oil equipment headed for the tar sands in Canada would enter Montana sometime this weekend are erroneous, according to the Montana Department of Transportation.

Administrator for the Motor Carrier's Division, Duane Williams said on Friday, January 3, that the proper permits have not yet been returned to Helena from the transport company, Omega-Morgan.

"Omega-Morgan submitted a revised plan the day before Christmas," Williams said. "We have sent that out to our district offices for review, and they are currently in the process of reviewing it. We anticipate that our review will be complete the first part of next week. In fact, we have a condition in our permit that the load will not travel on Friday night, Saturday morning, or Saturday night into Sunday morning."

Williams provided the route the megaload would take through Montana.

"After it leaves Lost Trail Pass it'll go up Highway 93 to Missoula," Williams said. "After it goes through Missoula, it will head up I-90 to Bonner, and then from Bonner it'll go up Highway 200 to U.S. 89 and from there it'll go up towards Valier, then from Valier up through Cutbank and then to the Canadian border crossing at Sweetgrass."

Williams said with good road conditions the megaload can travel up to about 35 miles per hour, and will probably take about a week to cross through Montana.

"The permit states specifically that they will be prohibited from traveling during hazardous road conditions," Williams said.

Inclement weather and protests from some Indian tribes and environmentalists have delayed the shipment since it left Oregon several weeks ago. Another shipment is currently approacing the border of Idaho from Oregon.

Administrator for the Motor Carrier's Division, Duane Williams