Utah transportation officials unveiled a new runaway truck ramp this week, hoping to stop a series of crashes from trucks coming out of Logan Canyon.
The new runaway ramp was debuted by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) on Thursday, October 8, on U.S. 89 west of Garden City near Bear Lake.
The ramp uses a cable barrier system to slow out of control trucks: “The escape ramp uses a concrete chute to guide runaway trucks into the correct position, where cable restraints are then used to stop the trucks. When a truck hits the cables, they are designed to wrap around the truck, causing it to lose speed and eventually stop,” UDOT said in a news release.
Officials say that six semi truck have lost control on the stretch of U.S. 89 in the last two years, causing five to crash. In October 2018, 31 year old Nebraska-based truck driver Ahmed M. Abdelgader lost his life while hauling a load of butter through Logan Canyon. As Abdelgader approached Highway 89 and SR-30 in Garden City, he was unable to slow his truck and crashed into Pugstones Sporting sporting goods store. Both Abdelgader and his co-driver, Mobark A. Sharif, were hospitalized with critical injuries. Abelgader passed away in the hospital.
UDOT is adding a mandatory brake stop at the top of the hill as well as additional signage to provide truckers with information on their distance from the new ramp.
“We take every opportunity we can to enhance safety on our roads,” UDOT Project Manager Tom Roylance said. “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.”