Utah escape ramp uses catch-net cable system to stop runaway trucks

Utah Truck Ramp
The Utah Department of Transportation has installed a runaway truck ramp on U.S. 89 near Garden City. The ramp uses a system of cables to slow and eventually stop big trucks that lose control on the downhill slope of the highway. (Courtesy: Utah Department of Transportation)

GARDEN CITY, Utah — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) earlier this month opened a new truck-escape ramp on U.S. 89 west of Garden City, Utah. The ramp incorporates a catch-net cable system, with a series of cable nets used to stop runaway tractor-trailers coming out of Logan Canyon, a scenic passage through the Bear River Mountains.

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During the past two years, the area has seen a rise in runaway truck crashes, according to UDOT. The new truck-escape ramp will provide drivers who lose control while coming downhill along U.S. 89 with a safe, secure emergency stopping point.

“We take every opportunity we can to enhance safety on our roads,” said Tom Roylance, UDOT project manager. “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 then to stop the trucks. The cables are designed to wrap around a truck when it hits the cables, causing the vehicle to lose speed and eventually stop.

The new cable barrier system is located near the end of a steep downhill section of U.S. 89, and at a safe distance from busy intersections or driveways along the highway farther east in Garden City. The site 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. 89 to improve safety for trucks traveling through this area, UDOT said. Other improvements include a mandatory brake check area near the top of the hill, as well as signs displaying the distance to the truck escape ramp.

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