UDOT engineers propose safety improvement for potentially dangerous intersection

Aug 22, 2019, 6:24 PM | Updated: Aug 23, 2019, 5:30 am
(Credit: Jackie and Lance Bourne)...
(Credit: Jackie and Lance Bourne)
(Credit: Jackie and Lance Bourne)

RICH COUNTY – Engineers with UDOT believe they’ve found a solution to a problematic intersection near Bear Lake.  Ironically, they stumbled across this solution by accident.

Two semi-trucks have crashed at the intersection of Highway 89 and North Bear Lake Drive in the past couple of weeks.  Last October, a semi driver died at that same location after crashing into a store that’s no longer there.  Those crashes have convinced UDOT to make safety at this intersection a high priority.

There are already several runaway truck ramps all over Utah, but, Project Development Director Kris Peterson says those might not work at this location since the road is going downhill.  Instead, they’re proposing a “vehicle arrest system” that would use steel cables to slow a vehicle down.

“As the car goes through there, it has some spools of steel roll out and as it does so, it reduces the energy of the vehicle,” Peterson says.

It works similar to the way aircraft carriers catch jets when they land.

He adds, “As you go further down, more and more, those nets will catch you, depending on the weight of your vehicle.”

Peterson first saw this kind of device while traveling in Wyoming.  The person he was with spotted it near the Teton Pass, and they both were curious to see what it was.  Peterson arranged a tour of the device shortly after.

He also had a chance to see this device in action, again, by accident.  Just minutes after he stepped off the ramp, he says he could hear a semi approaching and it sounded like something was wrong.  When the truck came into view, Peterson could see the brakes were on fire and the driver couldn’t stop.

“Sure enough, just a couple of seconds later, he drove into that ramp and the ramp stopped him.”

The driver was able to walk away, although he was extremely rattled.  Peterson says those cables saved that man’s life.  These mechanisms are reportedly much safer than crash cushions placed near offramps since the cushions are designed to stop a car quickly within a short amount of distance.

“This is designed to catch a vehicle in a matter of 500 feet or several hundred feet.  The driver can get out and walk away.  Generally, if you hit one of those other [cushions], you may have to go to the hospital,” Peterson says.

The project has not been approved yet, but, Peterson says this is the primary idea to make that intersection safer.

Today’s Top Stories


Trucks are lined up for sale at Low Book Sales in Lindon on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. Most new vehicl...
Heather Kelly

Automatic emergency braking should only be used as a last resort

AAA of Utah says automatic emergency braking systems have limitations and should only be used as a last resort to prevent a crash.
23 hours ago
Picture reads scam alert! missed jury scam targeting utahns....
Mark Jackson

Federal, state authorities warn of return of missed jury duty, outstanding warrant scam

Officials are warning Utahns -- and those is surrounding states -- about a missed jury or warrant scam that aims to get money out of victims.
23 hours ago
Utahns head to Florida to aid in relief from Hurricane Ian....
Aubri Wuthrich

Utahns volunteer with American Red Cross to aid hurricane evacuees in Florida

The American Red Cross has volunteers on the ground in Florida to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
23 hours ago
utah NWS warnings...
Mark Jones

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Davis and Weber counties

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Davis and Weber counties on Wednesday night. There is a slight chance of more rain on Thursday, according to KSL weather.
2 days ago
Hurricane Ian Satellite image...
Mark Jones

Former KSL NewsRadio talk show host in the path of Hurricane Ian

Drew Steele, a former KSL NewsRadio talk show host, currently lives near Fort Myers, Fla., with his family and is in the path of Hurricane Ian.
2 days ago
Moss cell phone...
Lindsay Aerts

Lawmaker Moss again pushing to ban driving while holding a cell phone

Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-District 37, says she'll try again to crack down on driving with your cell phone in your hand.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
UDOT engineers propose safety improvement for potentially dangerous intersection