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State Sending Hazmat Trucks Through Westwood

Trucks will be re-routed along Rte. 128 through Woburn, Lexington, Waltham and down past Newton, Needham and Westwood.

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

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, according to The Boston Globe.

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.

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