Home ‘Runaway Truck Ramp’ is first of kind in Virginia on U.S. 250 near Afton Mountain
Local, Public Safety

‘Runaway Truck Ramp’ is first of kind in Virginia on U.S. 250 near Afton Mountain

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A new truck arrestor ramp opened today on U.S. 250 (Rockfish Gap Turnpike) that is the first ramp of its kind in Virginia.

The $5.5 million safety feature is designed to put the brakes on runaway big rigs and passenger vehicles descending Afton Mountain.

As part of a Smart Scale design-build bundle for Albemarle County which includes a new roundabout at U.S. 250 and Route 151 (Critzer Shop Road), the ramp addresses a safety issue for 18-wheelers heading down the mountain to the intersection.

The arrestor ramp system consists of 10 stainless-steel nets arranged to safely stop vehicles as large as an 18-wheeler weighing up to 80,000 pounds traveling up to 80 miles an hour. The first net is designed to stop a passenger vehicle.

The remaining nine nets will slow a big rig at a deceleration rate that will avoid injury to the driver. As a fail-safe, a heavy-duty safety net is at the end of the ramp designed to stop vehicles larger than an 80,000-pound tractor trailer.

“Runaway Truck Ramp” and “Runaway Vehicle Only” signs are installed to alert drivers of the ramp as they descend Afton Mountain.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.