Austin city leaders plan to address alternative routes for trucks that carry hazardous materials like explosives and flammable liquids throughout the city.
Currently, the trucks can travel anywhere within city limits, but since Austin's population has expanded past 850,000 people the city legally has to set designated routes where commercial vehicles carrying non-radioactive hazardous materials can travel. That means trucks carrying any of the materials shown in the graphic posted below besides radioactive- will be affected.
Since this will affect a lot of people, transportation officials are hosting a series of town hall meetings to get the public's thoughts on potential routes.
Tuesday night was the first meeting at the Ruiz Branch Library and a lot of people from the trucking industry were in attendance. Many of them said they make deliveries in Austin and hope I-35 stays open as part of a designated route.
"For deliveries in Austin, it is much better because you can go straight to it instead of going around and coming back in,"Larry Marshall with Mission Petroleum Carriers said."The thing with 130 is if you go from one end to the other you're looking at several dollars just to take a truck from one end to the other."
The city has already started to rule out some roads for the routes. Moving forward they'll consider factors like traffic volumes impact on commerce and crash rates.
They hope to have the routes finalized by early fall of next year and will send them to TxDot for approval.
If you're interested in attending one of the town hall meetings - here are some future dates.
- Public Meeting 2 – January 2017
- Public Meeting 3 – June 2017
For more information, go here.