The Colorado Department of Transportation is considering a $500,000 solution to keep semis off of the tight curves of Independence Pass after increased fines failed to deter truckers from using the road.
Increased Fines And Signs Have Not Kept Truckers Off Independence Pass
Officials say that many truck drivers ignore the signs banning truck from using Independence Pass because they rely their GPS systems to navigate. Colorado attempted to discourage trucks from using Independence Pass by increasing the fine to almost $1500 about a year ago, but this has not made a significant dent in truck traffic. One day in late July when Glenwood Canyon was closed, sheriff’s deputies had to turn around over twenty trucks.
CDOT Reveals Two-Part Solution
CDOT’s pricy solution for the problem involves using technology to detect vehicles that are longer than 35 feet and sending them an alert via electronic sign about a mile before they enter Independence Pass.
CDOT’s solution also involves building a physical barrier for trucks called a “chicane” — a manufactured tight S-curve meant to mimic the curves of Independence Pass. Any vehicle too long to negotiate the chicane would then be able to access a roundabout that would send it back towards Aspen.
Some consider adding a physical obstacle an over-the-top measure, but the Colorado State Police say that “maybe it’s time for an extreme solution.”
If the project is approved by Pitkin County commissioners and CDOT, construction would likely begin in the spring of 2017.
CDOT, Pitkin Co. eye new, direct messaging to truckers and a tight turn to keep semis off of Independence Pass. https://t.co/DkqOCHhHNR
— Randy Essex (@randyessex) September 28, 2016