The megaload of oil refinery equipment headed for the tar sands of Canada is traveling through Oregon and will soon arrive in Idaho, however, no permit has yet been issued for the shipment to cross through Montana.

Montana Department of Transportation Administrator for the Motor Carriers Division Duane Williams said on Monday, December 23, that no permission has yet been given for the shipment to enter the state.

"We still are reviewing the application, so we have not issued a permit for Omega Morgan as of this time," Williams said. "Hopefully, by the time they get to Idaho they will have submitted all the information they need, and we can work out all the details."

Williams said that Omega Morgan still has a few details to provide before Montana can approve the shipment.

"There's just a few more things we're waiting on from them," Williams said. "They're looking at the route up by Bowman's Corner, whether or not they can negotiate that corner, or maybe they should choose another route and go a little farther up Highway 200. They're also looking at some of the signals around places like Hamilton, if they can serpentine through those signals, or if they need to temporarily raise one of the signal heads out of the way, just a few details like that."

Williams said the progress of the megaload shipment is dependent on winter road conditions.

"How far they come in a given day is really weather dependent," Williams said. "I would anticipate they would reach the border of Montana by the first of the year, or so."

Because of protests by various environmental, tribal and even some government entities, such as the Missoula County Commissioners, the original route of the megaloads was changed from heading over Lolo Pass and the Lochsa River corridor to Lost Trail Pass through Hamilton, into Missoula and on into Canada.

Montana Department of Transportation Administrator for the Motor Carriers Division Duane Williams