Hazmat Routing Overview

Semi containing Hazardous Materials Title 42, Article 20 of the Colorado Revised Statutes governs the routing of hazardous materials by motor vehicles on all public roads in Colorado.  CDOT Policy Directive 1903.0 effective 5/20/2010, and CDOT Procedural Directive 1903.1 effective 2/3/2011, govern CDOT’s role in the designation of hazmat routes.

Procedures to Designate Colorado Public Roadways as Hazmat Routes

To designate a state highway in Colorado as hazmat route, CDOT staff members, local governments, or private entities must request the Mobility Section of the Division of Transportation Development to perform an analysis of the route. To perform this analysis the Mobility Section will convene a Hazmat Advisory Team (“Team”) to determine if the proposed route meets the Required Criteria. If the Required Criteria is met, and approved by the Transportation Commission, CDOT will file a petition with the Colorado State Patrol (“CSP”) for approval. If the Colorado State Patrol approves the petition, the route will be designated a hazmat route.


As determined by the Team the route must meet the Required Criteria prior to being brought before the Transportation Commission:

  • The route(s) under consideration are feasible, practicable, and not unreasonably expensive for such transportation.
  • The route(s) is continuous within a jurisdiction and from one jurisdiction to another.
  • The route(s) does not unreasonably burden interstate or intrastate commerce.
  • The route(s) designation is not arbitrary or intended by the petitioner merely to divert the transportation of hazardous materials to other communities.
  • The route(s) designation will not interfere with the pickup or delivery of hazardous materials.
  • The route(s) designation is consistent with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations; and
  • The route(s) provides greater safety to the public than other feasible routes. Considerations include but are not limited to:
    • AADT, crash and fatality rates
    • Population within a one-mile swath of each side of the highway
    • Locations of schools, hospitals, sensitive environmental areas, rivers, lakes, etc.
    • Emergency response capabilities on the route
    • Condition of the route, i.e., vertical and horizontal alignment, pavement condition, level of access to the route, etc.