UDOT opens runaway truck escape ramp in Garden City

The Utah Department of Transportation has opened a new truck escape ramp on U.S. Highway 89 west of Garden City. Video still courtesy: UDOT

GARDEN CITY, Utah, Oct. 8, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Transportation has opened a new truck escape ramp on U.S. Highway 89 west of Garden City near Bear Lake.

The catch-net cable system is new to Utah and uses a series of cable nets to stop runaway semi-trucks coming out of Logan Canyon, said a news release from UDOT.

In the past two years, this area has seen a rise in runaway truck crashes, the news release added. This new truck escape ramp will provide truck drivers with a safe alternative in the event they are out of control coming downhill on U.S. Highway 89.

“We take every opportunity we can to enhance safety on our roads,” UDOT Project Manager Tom Roylance said. “Installing this runaway truck ramp is a solution that will really make a big difference for truck drivers as well as residents, businesses and tourists in Garden City.”

The escape ramp uses a concrete chute to guide runaway trucks into the correct position, where cable restraints are then used to stop the trucks, the news release said. When a truck hits the cables, they are designed to wrap around the truck, causing it to lose speed and eventually stop.

“The new cable barrier system is located near the end of the steep downhill section of U.S. Highway 89, and at a safe distance from busy intersections or driveways along the highway farther east in Garden City,” the news release said. “It also provides drivers with a straight section of road and sufficient distance for them to see the ramp and safely steer onto it in an emergency.”

The truck escape ramp is only one of the measures recently put in place on U.S. Highway 89 to improve safety for trucks travelling through this area. Other improvements include a mandatory brake check area near the top of the hill, and signs displaying the distance to the truck escape ramp.

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