On Monday, Colorado transportation officials opened an emergency truck ramp with new safety improvements.

The improved runaway truck ramp is located on westbound I-70 at mile marker 182 at the bottom of Vail Pass.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis joined officials from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado Motor Carriers Association to officially open the ramp on Monday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Officials say that the ramp is safer after the improvements because it provides truck drivers with a straighter path off the highway to reduce the likelihood of trucks tipping over. It also features a settlement basin beneath it so should there be any type of hazardous spill, it can be contained on site and cleaned up with no impact to Gore Creek.

Left, before construction. Right, after construction.

CDOT says that the runaway ramp will make travel over Vail Pass safer for everyone and help to minimize the number of accidents that close I-70.

“This project reduces closures of Vail Pass and therefore reduces traffic and trip times to the high country. This improvement represents the start of better things to come for the Coloradans and businesses that rely on Vail Pass. The safety improvements this project brings and the improved access for emergency service vehicles will reduce the number of closures on Vail Pass, saving Coloradans time and money and supporting  our local economy,” said Governor Polis.

CDOT says that truck ramp is the first of several safety improvements being made as part the $164.2 million I-70 West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes project.

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