Every day, roughly 200 trucks hauling hazardous materials navigate the steep, hairpin turns on U.S. Highway 6 over Loveland Pass.
It’s a treacherous route for lumbering semis, especially those laden with thousands of gallons of diesel or other toxic payload, and not all of them can manage.
Tanker trucks crash on Loveland Pass about three times a year, sometimes spilling hazardous materials right above a tributary that feeds into Dillon Reservoir, Denver’s main water source.
Hazmat trucks are forced to take the twisting, two-lane highway because of a policy prohibiting them from traveling through the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel on Interstate 70, primarily because of concerns that a fuel fire could catastrophically damage the tunnel.
A fire suppression system was installed in the tunnel in 2016 at a cost of $25 million.
But it’s unlikely that hazmat tankers will be able to skip the white-knuckle drive over Loveland Pass any time soon. The system, while carrying obvious safety benefits, is too small to handle a hazmat fire.
Published at Mon, 15 Jan 2018 15:23:16 +0000