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State's Upping Hazmat Trucking Along Route 128

The controversial to re-route trucks carrying gasoline, oil and other flammable cargo outside the city and along Route 128/95 went into effect earlier this summer.

The so-called suburban migration apparently also applies to trucks toting hazardous materials.

According to The Globe, trucks filled with gas, oil and other hazardous materials that used to cut through Boston on Route 93 have been rerouted out to Route 128/95 during the daytime in accordance with a new policy the Department of Transportation put into effect earlier this summer.

The plan has been the subject of considerable debate over the past year, with support from the North End and other Hub neighborhoods and opposition from suburban communities along the already heavily trafficked highway.

DOT spokeswoman Sara Lavoie told the Globe the decision to implement the plan came after months of hearings and legal notices. However, Jack Troast, executive director of the 128 Corporate Alliance, said he would have liked to see more study on the regional impacts of the move, the Globe reported

Around this time last year, area officials and residents sounded off about the plan at a meeting in Waltham with state officials.

At the time, state and Boston officials said the city’s dense population makes its neighborhoods unfit for hazmat trucks. But residents and officials from communities along Route 128/95 countered that solving Boston’s problems only shifted the burden westward, to an already oft-clogged artery.

Part of the concern is the ability of suburban communitites along Route 128 to respond to a major incident involving one or more of these trucks as their volume increases along the stretch of highway from Woburn through Lexington and Waltham and down past Newton, Needham and Westwood.

Just last month, Route 128 South in Woburn was shut down overnight after a tanker truck rolled over and unleashed around 10,000 gallons of gasoline onto the highway and causing traffic to be re-routed onto Route 93. 

that units from Woburn Fire and Massport and Hanscom foam units respondd to the scene, along with Winchester Engine 2, and Reading Fire, Stoneham Fire, Burlington Fire, Arlington Fire and Medford fire companies. A nearby hotel and restaurant were both evacuated due to fuel pouring down a highway off-ramp.

Rudolph S Caparros Jr December 21, 2012 at 09:08 PM
HazMat Experts and Firefighters petition Dow Chemical and Union Pacific for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented. See--PETITION C KIT for First Responders Comments.

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