ROADS/BRIDGES: NDOT substantially completes S.R. 431 truck escape ramp

Nov. 21, 2016

The project aims to enhance traffic safety

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has substantially completed a project to reconstruct the S.R. 431 Mt. Rose Highway truck escape ramp. Prohibited to travel westbound during construction, commercial trucks are now permitted on both directions of Mt. Rose Highway.

The truck ramp, located on the westbound side of the highway in Incline Village, has been converted from the previous rock surface to asphalt. A series of six pre-tensioned drag nets were installed on the truck ramp to catch the front grill of runaway vehicles and help safely absorb the impact to slow, then ultimately stop, the vehicle. The asphalt surface of the truck ramp will be heated to ensure that snow or ice does not hamper use of the nets during winter months. Similar innovative systems have been used in Europe, Canada and some areas of the U.S. Two roadside flashing signs and one large overhead digital message sign have also been installed to alert drivers when a vehicle is on the truck ramp. The approximately $4.6 million project by Q & D Construction was completed on schedule.

“Approximately 5,000 vehicles travel this section of the Mt. Rose Highway every day, including semi-trucks,” NDOT District Engineer Thor Dyson explained. “We are dedicated to traffic safety and mobility, and this innovative truck escape ramp system will help keep the road safe for all drivers and the community in general.”

A truck escape ramp is an emergency-use-only ramp adjacent to a roadway that provides a location for runaway vehicles to safely stop. The ramps often use gravel to slow a vehicle. There are four Nevada truck ramps, including the Mt. Rose Highway truck ramp, two ramps on U.S. 50 between Carson City and Lake Tahoe and one in Laughlin. The Mt. Rose Highway truck ramp was originally constructed in the late 1970s.

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