GARDEN CITY – Utah Department of Transportation workers are working on a truck escape ramp on U.S. 89, below the last hill before entering Garden City. Currently, there is a portable stoplight to regulate the traffic going and coming from Garden City at the intersection at S.R. 30 where multiple semi-trucks have lost their brakes and crashed over the last few years.
The $5 million ramp system is unlike any other in Utah, said Zach Whitney, a UDOT spokesman.
“This is the first of its kind in Utah,” Whitney said. “They are being used in other states like Nevada and Wyoming.”
They are installing a catch net cable system similar to the cable catch on an Aircraft Carrier, said a Wyoming Department of Transportation official. This type of truck escape ramp takes less distance than other tuck escape ramp systems and is easier on the driver.
“Truck traffic has increased over the past few years,” Whitney said. “A trucker not familiar with the route might find it is more tricky than they may have thought before they started driving on it.”
He said the goal here is to provide a safe way for truck drivers to stop when they’re out of control.
“There were four semi crashes last year. The last crash in August of last year, when a semi-truck ran through the intersection of U.S. 89 and S.R. 30,” Whitney said. “The crashes amplified the need for a truck escape system in that area.”
The project should be finished by the end of summer. They are going at it pretty hard, so the timeline may end before that, he said.
“The stoplight system should be gone before the Memorial Day weekend,” he said. “Most of the work is being done on the shoulder of the road.”
Drivers should drive more slowly and use caution during road construction.