On a June day in 2006, Myron Swisher stood on a highway overpass, watching a history-making moment on Interstate 25. Swisher, who worked for the state Department of Transportation, had labored for the past nine years to open a high occupancy toll lane on the crowded road, and he wanted to watch the first cars use it.
"The day we opened, I hopped in the car and went out to the 58th Avenue Bridge that looks down upon the tolling zone," Swisher said. "It was probably about 2:30 in the afternoon, so I wanted to get out there and see how things are going before rush hour started."
Looking back, Swisher's moment on the bridge may have marked the beginning of a new era in Colorado transportation.
It's an early Saturday morning and a handful of spectators are poised near a railroad crossing at 120th Ave and U.S. 85 in Henderson, Colorado. They're waiting to see a piece of history, a vintage Union Pacific Streamliner as it sets off from Denver bound for the "Daddy of 'em All," the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo in Wyoming.
A fiery oil train derailment in Canada killed 47 people a year ago, prompting regulators and railroads in the U.S. to make changes. Some who live near where oil trains travel are still worried, though.
Amy Roe with the Delaware chapter of the Sierra Club lives not far from where tank cars transport and store crude oil. Roe wishes the country would move away from fossil fuels faster. That plays into her opposition to oil trains, but she's also concerned about safety, especially after the accident that happened last July in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.
A dozen or more trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken region are moving across northern Montana every week, skirting the edge of Glacier National Park. More trains - far fewer in number - pass through populated regions farther south.
Governor Steve Bullock has released the route information, making Montana the latest state, after Washington, to buck railroads’ requests to keep the information out of public hands.