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Runaway truck ramp is first of its kind in Utah

Posted at 4:27 PM, Oct 08, 2020

GARDEN CITY, Utah — The Utah Department of Transportation showed off their new truck runway ramp out in Garden City Thursday, the first of its kind in the state.

Instead of using gravel to slow down the truck, UDOT uses wire nets across the whole truck ramp.

For 15 years, Marty Phipps has owned the gas station on the corner of Logan Road and Bear Lake Boulevard.

“We have a new streetlight in place and people get cognizant that when it’s green you go, you don’t look,” said Phipps.

Looking for a semi-truck barreling through the intersection, something that has happened time and time again.

First it was the Sporting Goods Store, demolished after a semi-truck plowed through, then a storage unit.

“It’s kind of sad because that was probably the most valuable piece of property before all of this started to happen,” said Phipps. “Now it would be tough to build there.”

Even with a runaway truck ramp, Phipps believes the were still be some accidents.

There have been six in about two year's time—the most recent truck made it around the corner on two wheels.

“The trucks come by so fast,” said Phipps. “Nobody has time to react.”

The new runaway truck ramp built by UDOT is supposed to help truck drivers slow down before they ever get to the boulevard.

Thomas Roylance, the project manager, said the ramp uses nets with a “tape” that rolls out of spools, slowing the trucks down to a safe stop.

The ramp is 500 feet from the first net to the last and is designed to slock a truck with a a maximum load of 129,000 lbs, goings 90 miles per hour.

“Please use that ramp,” said Royland. “You’re going to have minimal property damage to your vehicle. You’re going to save people from any injuries.”

Mayor Mike Leonhardt said more than 200 trucks drive through the boulevard in Garden City every single day.

“If the truckers will use it? It will stop them and avoid creating chaos in our city,” said Leonhardt.

UDOT is considering creating a second, mandatory brake check just above the runaway truck ramp to further encourage slowing down.

For Phipps, he hopes the truck ramp is in the right place.

“I worry too that by the time they think their brakes are gone, they might’ve passed that,” said Phipps.

UDOT budgeted $4 million for the project and ended up spending $5 million.

If the runaway ramp is successful, there are plans to use the type of ramp elsewhere in the State.