State Sending Hazmat Trucks Through Woburn

The controversial decision to re-route trucks carrying gasoline, oil and other flammable cargo outside of Boston and along Route 128 went into effect this summer.


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

According to the Boston 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 the highway off-ramp.

Earnhardt August 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM
They have been doing it for at least ten years or more. It's just been brought to light because of the accidents occurring with hazardous materials in our area the last few years, so they had to admit it. I worked for a trucking company about ten years ago and it was going on then.
Roth Gill August 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Sound/Safety Barriers are still on the back-burner?
Joe August 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Maybe our elected leaders could get the sound barriers in exchange for allowing these haz trucks on 128.
Roth Gill September 21, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Now is the time to start pressuring the aldermen and contacting Jim Dwyer State Rep. to move this along. During a meeting last year around this same time. the city was going to attempt a 3 pronged approach to get things moving....here's where last year's idea's left off: 1.) We (the city) believe that the highway 95/128 has been expanded which should entitle us to sound barriers under type II , Joe Demers is hopping to get this data from his contact at the DOT. 2.) There is pending legislation to make the 93/95 in our area become a Hazmat route, and if this happened it should lend itself to sound barriers, Senator Donnelly and Rep. Dwyer are fully engaged. ( which has already happened ) 3.) An independent sound study similar to what Lexington and other city's/towns have done helped move things along in those communities. Richard Haggerty was going to speak with the Mayor about allocating funds for this. That's about where things were in October of 2011. I have not heard anything since, and as far as I know the mayor has not allocated the funds for the study. I do believe that with the tanker spill earlier in the summer and the continued hazard of the trucks being re-routed from Boston should be more than enough to either bump the city higher on the list, or at least influence the Mayor to allocate the money for the funding. Rep. Jim Dwyer and his office have be responsive and he has written the department on transportation outlining our need for this.


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