An alternate route for hazardous materials considered

County Road 49 approved for safe transportation

Belen Ward
bward@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/11/21

A 20-mile section of Weld County Road 49 will see new life as an alternative route for hazardous materials, according to the Colorado State Patrol. A plan to use Weld County Road 49 between I-76 and …

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An alternate route for hazardous materials considered

County Road 49 approved for safe transportation

Posted

A 20-mile section of Weld County Road 49 will see new life as an alternative route for hazardous materials, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

A plan to use Weld County Road 49 between I-76 and U.S. Highway 34 as a designated route to transport gasoline, diesel fuel, petroleum gas, and crude oil could be effective in the spring, pending a state hearing later this month.

“Designating WCR 49 as a state hazmat route is a great step forward from a safety and efficiency standpoint,” Weld County Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman said. “We constructed WCR 49 to safely accommodate multiple industries, and now the energy industry will have an alternate corridor to transport fuels throughout our county, which will also relieve congestion on Highway 85, improving our regional transportation system.”

The section of the road runs from I-76 east of Hudson north to Kersey, about 19.8 miles.

The application was submitted for state approval by the Weld County Board of Commissioners and the Weld County Department of Public Works. On Wednesday, January 27, the proposal will be presented in a rule-making hearing for the new hazmat transportation route to become effective on April 1st.

“I believe the public can still comment at the rule-making hearing. We did not have any public speak in opposition to our application at these last public meetings,” Jennifer Finch , Weld County Communications Director.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), title 42, article 20 of Colorado revised statutes, it governs the hazardous material routes for all public roads in Colorado.

For a road to be designated as a hazardous material route, it’s required to meet certain criteria such as feasibility, practicality, and its capability to move products from one city to another. Also, the road is graded with numerous safety standards more than other public traveled roads.

Also, there is an evaluation done for statistics that measure the safety of the overall condition of the road, traffic, crashes, and fatality rates. From December 1st through December 5th the Weld County Commissioners and the Weld County Public Works held virtual meetings to receive public feedback regarding the petition.

Within the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) it established a hazardous material section Troop 8-C that regulates the safety of hazardous material transportation to protect the environment and citizens. It was the CSP’s comprehensive work on the application that contributed to the approval of the new hazmat materials route.

“I would like to once again thank you for what was frankly a petition that was very well done,” Colorado State Patrol Captain John Hahn said in an email. “The document itself is one that will move forward, serve as an example to future entities wishing to petition CSP for routing designation or changes.”

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