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News

Logistic Roadway and Safety Updates

I hope this finds you well and busy. As part of our busyness, we sometimes forget about safety. I have attended several rail and logistics conferences in the last few years and had always heard "we want to send our employees home the same way they came into work." Recently they have changed the saying to " we want to send our employees home better than when they came in."

I think it speaks to the understanding that employers continue to realize that their "employees" are the most important asset they have.

The Sweetwater area has continued to grow in the logistics market through trucking and rail. The addition of the BNSF Transload facility on FM 419 has increased the truck traffic dramatically. We have seen traffic patterns change as transload facilities and fueling stations are added.

An area that is a concern is CR 141 between West Broadway and Alabama Street (behind Love's). It has a rail crossing that will high center low trailers. Several sand trailers have torn off the underbelly and dumped sand on the crossing and the CR 141. Recently a truck and trailer got hung up and damaged the track. Gary Watson, an employee of Sweetwater EC&M saw the damage and called the rail hotline on the blue sign at the rail intersection. He knew that when he called, he could give them the location number also listed on the sign. Buck Russell, Safety Manager for UPRR stated that if Gary would not have called, a derailment could have happened and endangered human life and caused property damage. Local officials along with UPRR officials will be looking to see how best to remedy the situation. The sign below is a reminder of what you will be dealing with at that crossing.

The UPRR crossing bridge west of that location as you prepare to enter the approach onto I-20 West bound will be rebuilt as structural damaged has occurred. TXDOT tells us that the contract should be let in June of 2017 w/ construction starting late summer of 2017. All traffic will be detoured during construction.

A recent report from TXDOT showed a total traffic count in 2013 (per 24 hours) of 20,163 on I-20 near exit 244. Approximately 39% of that number is semi-tractor/trailers. The updated number for 2014 is over 27,000. We know that a lot of the increase was due to the increased activity in the oil & gas sector along w/ the increased presence of our logistics markets. Stay safe and blessed as you move freight across US, Mexico and Canada!