Utah Department Of Transportation plans to improve Highway 6, locals still concerned

Posted at 5:40 PM, Sep 14, 2023

PROVO, Utah — U.S. Highway 6 between Spanish Fork and Green River has historically been considered by many a dangerous road. Now video taken by Karrie Palmer on US-6 shows not one, not two, but four cars passing double yellow lines to pass a semi truck.

"It was like five or six vehicles before I even started recording and I kept telling my husband they're going to kill somebody; somebody is going to crash," Palmer said. "When I got home, I was like I'm going to post this on the internet because I want people to see how dangerous Highway 6 is."

People like Palmer and Steven Pogue have been impacted directly and indirectly by crashes in US-6.

"In 2018 me and my sister-in-law pulled up on a two-car crash that will forever stick in my head, trying to get this man out of his car that is already deceased," Palmer recalled.

"Two of our friends from right here in the neighborhood were up here last Saturday returning from a service project when the other driver crossed over and hit them head on, they're both very badly hurt," Pogue said.

Palmer and Pogue say the risky characteristics of the road combined with impatient drivers has caused too many injuries and deaths.

"It's a mountain roadway that is a windy roadway, two-way traffic, no positive median barrier there," said Sgt. Cameron Roden with the Utah Highway Patrol. "A lot of times the more serious crashes have been caused by people who have crossed over and gone head-on with other vehicles."

The Utah Department of Transportation has heard concerns about US-6 for years. In the past 18 years they've invested over $148 million dollars to improve the safety of the road.

Some improvements include widening the road to four lanes in areas, installing barriers in some parts, and creating passing lanes.

"It would be amazing to see more law enforcement out on that road, pulling people over, giving tickets, and the lanes just aren't enough, we need to have four lanes, we need to have more legal passing," Palmer said.

UDOT is planning to invest more funding into US-6 improvements. In the next five years, UDOT says they will "invest another $45 million to build passing lanes in the Sheep Creek area and improve the intersection of US-6 and US-191."

Drivers also need to do their part to help keep everyone safe on the road.

"Paying attention to your lane travel, make sure you're staying within your lane, fatigue sometimes becomes an issue, so if you're starting to become tired or distracted make sure you remedy those situations," Sgt. Roden said.