Hazmat drivers traveling through Birmingham, Alabama will need to take a detour to avoid most of the city for the next handful of days, as ordered by the Alabama Department of Transportation under direction of the United States Secret Service.
In downtown Birmingham from July 7th to the 17th will be an event called the World Games. With the support of the International Olympics Committee, the event features less popular sports that have not yet reached olympic status such as:
- Tug of war
While not at the same renowned status as the Olympics itself, the World Games is still an international phenomenon, with estimates of 3,600 global athletes and 500,000 spectators attending the event.
With so many people from all over the world coming to visit, the Secret Service wants to mitigate chances of any catastrophe, and is putting a ban on hazardous materials traveling through the area. Penalties have not been established, but with the Secret Service involved, they are likely to be severe.
How Truckers Are Impacted
Hazmat trucks traveling through Birmingham are advised to stay away from the I-20/59 freeway, as it cuts right through the heart of downtown Birmingham. Trucks needing to pass through the city may take I-459 to pass through on their way to Nashville, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, or Atlanta. Any hazardous material with the end destination in Birmingham should take additional caution in planning its route to avoid the downtown area.
Hazmat drivers that may forget in the following days will be reminded near the I-459 junctions along I-20/I-59 of their need to take a detour, lest they be fined or have their licenses revoked.
Having an event cutoff by the Secret Service is a rare event usually reserved for protecting the president of the United States and visiting heads of government, but with the World Games being a massive event encompassing all people of the globe, it is not a surprise that the Secret Service would want to do what it can to prevent any strain on international relations, even if the disaster would be an accident.
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