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Our look at
GAS DRILLING TRUCK TRAFFIC

Other than water issues, one of the greatest impacts Marcellus Gas Drilling has on the general public is truck traffic. If you travel the interstate highways in Southwestern Pennsylvania, it's not uncommon to count a dozen brine tankers during a 60 mile trip. Other times there will be convoys of trucks headed to fracking operations, whether they are frac pump trailers or tractor trailers hauling hundreds of loads of sand.

There have been numerous incidents of oversize loads (mostly too tall) damaging bridges in SW Pennsylvania. One concrete bridge on an interstate highway was damaged badly enough that it had to be demolished. Another bridge faces repairs and/or demolition. The fracking of one Marcellus gas well can require 1,000 truck trips, and most drilling sites have 3 to 10 wells, raising the total of truck trips to between 3,000 and 10,000 per well pad.  

 


Truck convention during a frac meet near Washington Pa

 
Local municipalities require bonds on roads to help ensure repair of busted-up blacktop and culverts. It is less clear how this heavy truck traffic helps pay for the repair of state roads, since most of these vehicles are licensed out-of-state, either in Texas or Oklahoma.
 

Fracking Boom Has Had Devastating Consequences For Motorists

Oct 15, 2014 - Increased traffic fatalities in communities adjacent to fracking operations are by no means a phenomenon limited to Texas. The Associated Press analyzed traffic deaths and US census data from six different drilling states and found that “in some places, fatalities have more than quadrupled since 2004 — a period when most American roads have become much safer even as the population has grown.”

“This boom is different from those of the past because of the hydraulic-fracturing process, which extracts oil and gas by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals,” the AP reports. “It requires 2,300 to 4,000 truck trips per well to deliver those fluids. Older drilling techniques needed one-third to one-half as many trips.”

Story

After Interstate 70 was open for over 40 years, the Washington, Pennsylvania area had to rewrite the rules for the Jefferson Avenue exit ramp due to the high volume of gas drilling truck traffic exiting there. Trucks must now go west one more exit to Jessop Place and loop back around onto I-70 to take the eastbound Jefferson Avenue exit, to help remedy the hazardous situation that was being created by truck traffic backing-up onto the interstate highway.
  

Oversize Load with part of a drilling rig

Jefferson Avenue in Washington Pennsylvania experiences a high volume of oil and gas truck traffic
  
 

Drilling rig section passing a wastewater tanker in the gas patch

Sections of a drilling rig moving by truck
 
  

Pipeliner truck traffic
  
  
Wastewater tankers have taken over the roads in the gas patch!
  
  
wastewater tankers
A row of water and wastewater tanker trucks
 
 
pipeline truck traffic
  
  
  
  

Interstate 79 truck traffic near Canonsburg Pennsylvania
  
  

Tri-axle hauling stone to a gas drilling location
Large quantities of limestone are needed for well pad and access road construction
  
  
Large trucks have trouble cutting country corners
  
  

MUDDY RUN-OFF
Sediment is the largest pollutant by volume in Pennsylvania's streams, degrading water quality, smothering vegeta
tion and destroying fish habitat. The highest density of dirt roads in the state coincides with the richest spots for Marcellus Shale gas drilling. Roads should be constructed with several drainage cross pipes and diversion points.
Reporter Laura Legere of THE TIMES-TRIBUNE

 

This corner has been repeatedly repaired and rerutted
  
  
Interstate truck traffic from Marcellus Shale activities
  
  
Wide loads are now a common sight in Pennsylvania
  
  
Convoy of Marcellus Shale trucks headed to a frac job
  
  
  
  

Rigs rerouted on I-70

By Linda Metz, Staff writer
Observer-Reporter
Washington, Pa.
August 29, 2009

Truck drivers traveling from Interstate 70 west to Route 18 in Washington will no longer be allowed to use the Jefferson Avenue exit.

Instead, beginning Sept. 4, truckers will be diverted to the Jessop Place exit and back onto I-70 east, where they then will use the eastbound Jefferson Avenue exit to get into Washington and to Routes 18 and 844.

"For quite some time, we've been trying to figure out some creative ideas to make that traffic flow better," said state Department of Transportation traffic engineer Rachel Duda.

Motorists familiar with the exit know that traffic often backs up onto I-70, causing safety hazards on the busy highway.

And Duda said that while attempts to ease the congestion have been made in the past, there really is nothing that can be done other than detouring trucks from using the exit.

According to Duda, the backup is caused by the exit's sharp bend and the two traffic signals at the bottom that are located within close proximity of each other.

After several engineering studies and traffic counts, including one completed within the past six weeks, it was PennDOT's decision to permanently close the westbound exit to truck traffic.

"The eastbound off-ramp can accommodate all the vehicles without impeding Interstate 70," Duda explained.

She added that the traffic restriction is permanent, at least until a final solution to the traffic problem can be determined.

"Unfortunately, there are businesses located on either side of the exit that makes it unable for the road to be widened," Duda stated. "There's not much else we can do."
  
  
'Residual Waste' tankers haul flowback, produced water and regular water
  
   
Frac sand tractor trailer on a small country road
  
  
Typical disintegration of an asphalt road from heavy truck traffic
  
   
Weight limits are often ignored by heavy trucks
  
  

Excerpt from the NY State study done on truck traffic for one gas well site


New York State DEC

Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program

http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/58440.html

NTC Consultants (NTC) estimated required truck trips per well for the noted phases requiring transportation as follows:

Drilling Rig Mobilization, Site Preparation and Demobilization

  • Drill Pad and Road Construction Equipment 10 – 45 Truckloads
  • Drilling Rig 30 Truckloads
  • Drilling Fluid and Materials 25 – 50 Truckloads
  • Drilling Equipment (casing, drill pipe, etc.) 25 – 50 Truckloads
  • Completion Rig Mobilization and Demobilization
  • Completion Rig 15 Truckloads

Well Completion

  • Completion Fluid and Materials 10 - 20 Truckloads
  • Completion Equipment (pipe, wellhead) 5 Truckloads
  • Hydraulic Fracture Equipment (pump trucks, tanks) 150 - 200 Truckloads
  • Hydraulic Fracture Water 400 - 600 Tanker Trucks
  • Hydraulic Fracture Sand 20 - 25 Trucks
  • Flow Back Water Removal 200 - 300 Truckloads
  • Well Production Equipment 5 – 10 Truckloads
  
  
Frac tank being hauled on the interstate
  
  
Low dumpsters are used to haul drilling waste
  
  
Fracking convoy clogging city streets
  
  
  
  
 
OVERSIZE AND OVERWEIGHT IN AMWELL TOWNSHIP
  
 
   Oversize Load exiting a small country road with damaged 10-Ton weight limit bridge in photos below
  
  
Sign clearly indicating the weight limit on Main Street, the road the truck is seen entering above.
  
  
Bridge damaged from heavy truck traffic for gas projects
Oversize loads (like the truck pictured above) have been regularly crossing this small bridge that is posted with a 10-ton weight limit
  
  
Sign at the opposite end of Johnson Road:
Bridge
Weight Limit 10 Tons
1-1/4 Mile Ahead
  
  
Bridge damage from heavy trucks and oversize loads
Bridge damage - Is the guardrail the only thing damaged? Check out the cracked concrete in the bridge abutment.
  
  

  

   OVERSIZE LOAD
  
  
Oversize Load turning onto Westland Road
(Rt 519) in Hickory Pa
  
  
Liquified petroleum gas going to market
Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanker slowing traffic on Rt 50 between Avella and Hickory, Pa
  
  
Gas drilling road damage
Alligator cracks in a asphalt country road from heavy truck traffic
  
  
Smith Transport Well Services Division Residual Wastewater tanker
Residual Waste Tanker
 
  
Two residual waste tanker trucks on Jefferson Avenue in Washington Pennsylvania
It is very common to see more than one wastewater truck at a time
 
  
Gas drilling tractor trailers
Two big rigs wait to enter snow covered drilling location
  
  

 
 
     

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