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County road 49 to be designated as hazmat route

Posted on 12/30/2020
County road 49 to be designated as hazmat route

A petition to allow gasoline, diesel fuel, petroleum gas and crude oil to be transported on Weld County Road (WCR) 49 between Interstate 76 and U.S. 34 was recently approved by the Colorado State Patrol to advance the proposed state statute modifications for hazmat transportation rules. The next step is the rulemaking hearing, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, with the new route designation becoming effective on April 1, 2021.

“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 Weld County Board of Commissioners along with the Weld County Department of Public Works, compiled the necessary application information to the state for approval. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Title 42, Article 20 of the Colorado Revised Statutes governs the routing of hazardous materials by motor vehicles on all public roads in Colorado. To be considered a hazmat route, a road must to meet several criteria related to feasibility, practicality, and the ability of the roadway to move goods from one jurisdiction to another. The road is also graded on several safety requirements which shows it provides greater safety to the public then other roads. Some of the statistics used to measure safety include traffic, crash and fatality rates, the overall condition of the road and more.

Virtual public meetings were conducted on December 1 and December 5 to solicit public feedback on Weld County’s petition. Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer and representatives from the Weld County Department of Public Works presented Weld County’s application and were on hand to hear any feedback or answer any questions or address any opposition.

Beyond just approving the application, the Colorado State Patrol also credited Weld County on the depth, quality and work that went into its application.

“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, moving forward, serve as an example to future entities wishing to petition CSP for routing designation or changes.”

To learn more about Colorado’s Hazardous Material routing, visit https://www.codot.gov/business/hazmat-routing. More information on the Weld County Department of Public Works, visit https://www.weldgov.com/departments/public_works.