CDOT installed a $25 million sprinkler system in the Eisenhower tunnel. So why do hazmat trucks still take Loveland Pass?
January 13, 2018
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.
In August 2013, a tanker spilled roughly 6,000 gallons of diesel after crashing on a turn near the summit of the pass, sending a stream of gasoline several inches deep down the shoulder of the road and prompting a several-week cleanup.
“Constructing a system that would handle a fuel tanker would be very difficult. A system that would suppress a hazmat fire in a tunnel elsewhere in the world is either rare or nonexistent.” Stacia Sellers, CDOT