Dave - thanks for the info and updates. I hope you got some sleep last night... that was a long day.
To the MB crowd, I do NOT speak for or represent any particular agency or organization here - just wanted to share some information and insights after having spent the better part of the day/evening/night at the site yesterday,and hopefully help with a little rumor control.
First, the location. Heading up the canyon past BTO, passing Killer Bridge, the highway curves sharply to the left at the top of the "Killer Bridge" and "Pinball" rapids. Across the river is a huge boulder on river-left where lots of people regularly gather in the large eddy, some to try some stern squirts. You'll recognize it in the photos. It was at this curve that the truck went through the guardrail and ended up on its side, rear end downhill and in the river. Damage to the tank allowed the liquid asphalt to leak into the river. As I understand it, the liquid asphalt is loaded at about 315 F, cools slowly in transit, and at 140 F gels/solidifies to the point it is no longer liquid enough to flow well (so can't be pumped out). Once the stuff hit the cold water in the river, it probably solidified fairly quickly - this probably helped limit the downstream spread, though some stuff made it as far as Killer Bridge.
For those interested, I put up a few photos and a couple of short video clips from the incident yesterday. Go to the link below, and if you click "Details" below the main title, the thumbnails get bigger and show some information. Clicking "View All Sizes" above a photo brings up a larger size.
From the discussions I caught at the scene yesterday, they'd love to find a way to do a mandatory, short-term closure from Bridges Put-in down, but that probably won't happen for various reasons. The options discussed for implementing a river closure included finding a way to cut back releases from up higher (also to help the cleanup), but this would mess with some serious downstream water rights, and my guess is it won't happen... so folks, dont fret about the flows being cut. As of this writing, the increased release from Joe Wright is still going on (even up a hair). However, highway access is a different story. Please be patient with the temporary highway closure/limited access while they get things cleaned up and put back together, and please try to cooperate with any personnel who may approach you at the Bridges put-in and ask you not to continue down from there. Believe me, I'm as bummed as anyone that I can't get out for a few more laps through Pineview/Bridges right now, but that's just life!
And into the near future... the cleanup will likely take some time - possibly up to weeks. Just understand that as you head up in to the canyon from Ted's Place, expecting a smooth, delay-free drive. And as one poster here mentioned, even after the cleanup is "done," we'll all probably still be finding little flecks of crud on our boats and gear for a while. The cleanup crews can get most of it, but not all. Asphalt is slightly heavier than water, so there will be some bits that get hung up on the river bottom and will work loose with the current. Not much we can do about that, other than not boating the Poudre for a couple of years. Yeah, right!
I hope this helps. Here's the link for photos:
Poudre Fire Authority
(and local paddler)
Originally Posted by rivrrunr
Request to avoid Bridges on Poudre.
Yesterday the rollover of an asphalt truck at Poudre Canyon (Highway 14 MM 113 below Grey Rock Bridge) resulted in a lot of asphalt being dumped into the river. During the day the Dive Team assisted in installing absorbent booms across the river above Bridges Take Out, and below Ted's Place, above Watson Lake, by the request of local, state and federal officials.
The removal of the truck should be complete tonight (the Dive Team was released at 11:30pm), but large extended backhoes will likely be on the road for at least a day to remove spilled asphalt. Due to the danger of the Hazmat spill, the dangerous boom strainers in the river, and the importance of getting these mitigation crews in and the asphalt out of the river, we are asking that recreational boaters (as well as tubers, waders and swimmers) not use the river between Bridges Put In (below Pineview Falls at MM 112.
and Gateway Park. Water quality below Gateway park (Filter Plant) may be somewhat compromised but the initial water tests do not show a great deal of oil content in the water - most congealed in the asphalt as it cooled. Use of the river is at the user's risk.
If traveling up Poudre Canyon, please be cautious and courteous to the workers trying to remediate this problem! (Many of us are fellow paddlers, and we value the river as much as you do!)
Thank you -
Larimer County Dive Rescue Team