The five-day journey of epic proportions began early Tuesday morning, with a massive load that snaked its way through southeast Edmonton – heading for an area north of Fort McMurray.

Last week, the province warned Albertans of the upcoming move – and the expected affects the massive load would have on traffic.

The vessel being moved weighs about the same as 290 pickup trucks – or 780 metric tonnes, and it’s nearly double the length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Due to its sheer size, it will reach a top speed of about 25 kilometres an hour on the highway.

However, before it gets there – dozens of lights and power lines had to be removed temporarily, to allow the container to move out of southeast Edmonton.

 “It is about six feet higher than the normal streetlight, so we have crews going out ahead of time to rotate street lights,” Shane Grisenthwaite with EPCOR said.

The container will travel on rural routes to avoid any major traffic tie-ups - even though it appeared the convoy couldn’t avoid a snag early Tuesday morning.

The operation had to stall on Highway 14 for a few hours; Alberta Transportation said it needed to review some of the documentation, to ensure bridges along the route could withstand the load.

While things got moving again a short time later, the move is expected to take a total of five days – with the load arriving on a site north of Fort McMurray on Saturday.

With files from Laura Tupper