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Monday, September 24, 2007

Idiot mayor, Roy McClung his car is a danger to the bridge!

City cut in half concerns mayor and the sky is falling...

Monday, September 24, 2007

The thought of a truck slamming into the overpass at the Parachute interchange of Interstate 70 chills the city’s mayor, Roy McClung.

“If we were to have something happen to that bridge … the whole north side of this valley is cut off from emergency service,” McClung said. “The best bet we would have is Flight For Life out of Grand Junction.”

McClung said the truck crash into a span over I-70 at 26 1/2 Road in Grand Junction this summer only renewed his concerns.

Grand Valley Fire Protection District Chief David Blair said if the Parachute overpass were damaged, his staff would encounter significant delays responding north of the city.

Because emergency services are based south of the overpass, crews would have to drive along frontage roads east to Rifle or west to Garfield County Road 300 to cross I-70.

“That bridge really is the only way from north Parachute to south Parachute,” Blair said.

McClung said the city is working with the Colorado Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration to turn a bridge roughly 1 1/2 miles west of Parachute into a working overpass.

That bridge is an old railroad overpass which was earmarked as a second Parachute interchange during the oil shale boom of the early 1980s, McClung said.

“Most of the infrastructure is there, but we have to go through CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, and that is a long, slow process at best,” he said.

It could take three to five years to begin construction, he said.

Doug Aden, who heads Colorado’s Transportation Commission, said Parachute’s concerns are another example of needs outpacing the state’s transportation budget.

“These are real-life examples of things that just aren’t going to get done, at least with state funds, given the current revenues available to CDOT,” Aden said.

Creating a new interchange or expanding the existing interchange to deal with increased energy-industry traffic would be “very expensive” prospects.

Aden said unless the federal government or local entities pay for highway projects, Parachute might have to wait.

While overpass expansions sit on the back burner, McClung said city officials nervously hope the bridge at its inerchange remains intact.

“With the number of oil field trucks we have coming through here, it’s just a matter of time before something happens,” McClung said.

He said it’s just a matter of time before a water truck crashes into the bridge, igniting the diesel fuel in its tank.

“If the wrong thing happens and one of these suckers blows up, it’s going to be bad news,” McClung said.

1 comment:

Idiot Mayor said...

Apparently the person who posted this comment isn't from Parachute, and doesn't realize that not all water is water. The water trucks in Parachute serve the natural gas drilling industry, and typically carry as much hydrocarbons as they do water. These hydrocarbons are mixed with produced water from wells and from the fracturing process used to release the natural gas from the tight sands formation. Unless a specific truck is designated to carry ONLY non-produced water, there is a very high possibility that the load it is hauling is anywhere from a couple of percent hydrocarbons to all liquid hydrocarbons. For those non-idiots, hydrocarbons are the compounds used to make things such as propane, butane, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, lantern fuel, kerosene, and just about any other combustible fuel.

Now picture up to 10,000 of these trucks per day travelling through the middle of a small town. While the perception of these trucks is that they haul water, the reality is that they contain an explosive mixture of liquids and vapor. We have several reports per month of "water" trucks exploding when someone welds on them, a spark from static electricity ignites them, or some other source causes them to blow up. We even had one that exploded from the fumes leaking out and being ignited by the neighbors BBQ grill.

There are also as many 30 trucks per day carrying liquid propane that travel through town. These trucks look like "water" trucks to the non-idiots, but if one were to be involved in serious collision the resulting explosion and fire would remove most of the Town of Parachute from the map.

So while you non-idiots make assumptions from afar, this idiot mayor will continue to be concerned about a "water" truck blowing up the only bridge that provides access and emergency services to my little hometown where the 4 generations of my family before me carved out a living. And as assistance to help the non-idiots understand the situation first hand, I invite anyone who reads this to join me for a cup of coffee at our local restaurant (my treat) to get some first hand experience in the difference between water trucks and "water" trucks. My number is in the book.

Sincerely,

Roy McClung
Mayor, Town of Parachute