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HOMEDALE • A nearly 1 million-pound load of refinery equipment set for the Canadian tar sands is expected to cross into Idaho by early Monday morning, said Holly Zander, Omega Morgan spokeswoman.

"They will for sure cross into Idaho by Monday morning," Zander said. "I don't have an estimate on time."

Motorists should expect delays on southern and eastern Idaho highways as the 382-foot-long load heads for Montana on its way to Canada, the Idaho Department of Transportation advised Saturday.

The department issued a permit Friday to Omega Morgan, allowing the load to travel between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The load won't move on Christmas Day, authorities said.

The route includes a short distance on Interstate 84 near Mountain Home, then across Idaho via Fairfield and Carey before crossing into Montana at Lost Trail Pass.

But Zander said the megaload is not expected to delay traffic when it travels through Idaho early Monday morning.

"We're not permitted to delay traffic more than 15 minutes, we have a pretty aggressive plan to be able to pull out of the way if we need to," Zander said.

The load is moving after remaining stationary in Oregon for two days because of poor weather conditions, she said. Zander said it will take the megaload at least six days to pass through Idaho.

Protesters near John Day, Ore. chained themselves together in a broken-down car and trailer Dec. 16 to stop the load, but authorities cleared the makeshift roadblock in two hours, reported the San Francisco Chronicle; 16 protestors from Oregon, Washington, Alaska and California were later arrested on charges of disorderly conduct.

Protestors are expected along the megaload route when it passes through Idaho, Zander said.

The load is not expected to reach south-central Idaho Monday, she said.

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