One of the most horrible things that could happen when driving in the mountains of Wyoming is losing your brakes on the twisting roads. One R-V driver experienced that fear on Monday. The driver was traveling east on U.S. Highway 16 near Buffalo and opted to take the runaway truck ramp. The ramp is one of only 3 in the nation that uses a series of 9 metal nets to stop runaway vehicles. WYDOT Spokesperson Ronda Holwell says the ramp is extremely effective.
Monday’s runaway R-V had a mechanical failure in the brake system, so it had to be towed from the mountain. The ramp has been used two other times since it was installed in 2004 and both of the tractor-trailers were able to be driven away from the ramp once their brakes were restored.
One of the reasons there are only a handful of these ramps in use is the cost. The original construction had a price tag just shy of $900,000. Each one of the nets costs around $10,000 to replace. Crews had the $30,000 worth of nets repaired and reset within two hours of the accident on Monday.