CONNECTICUT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
2800 BERLIN TURNPIKE P.O. BOX 317546
NEWINGTON CONNECTICUT, 06131-7546
|FOR RELEASE: November 16, 2007
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
TELEPHONE: (860) 594-3062
Fax: (860) 594-3066
Avon Mountain Truck Ramp Construction to Begin
DOT Project #04-128
Department of Transportation Commissioner Ralph J. Carpenter announced today that construction will begin Monday, November 19, 2007, on a 700-foot “escape ramp” for runaway trucks on Route 44 on Avon Mountain. The $2.8 million contract for the project has been awarded to Bourgeois & Shaw, Inc., of Simsbury by the DOT. The contractor will begin moving some barriers and signs into place this weekend, November 17-18.
“Because of recent accidents, this truck ramp is a major component of our overall short- and long-range plan to reduce truck-related crashes and improve traffic safety on Avon Mountain,” Commissioner Carpenter said. “The safety of the traveling public is always our top priority and I am pleased that we are ready to begin this work.”
The ramp will be constructed on the west bound side of Route 44 before the intersection with Route 10 in Avon. That is the intersection where two serious runaway truck accidents have occurred recently – one on September 7 and one on July 29, 2005, in which four people were killed.
Commissioner Carpenter said that this is the first such ramp ever built in Connecticut. Under the project plans, the ramp will be in operation by the end of February and all construction wrapped up by April 30, 2008, weather permitting. In addition to the ramp itself, Commissioner Carpenter said the project will include the construction of retaining walls, concrete barrier curbing and a “Dragnet Vehicle Arresting Barrier System.” That system includes a series of metal arresting nets and cables that are attached to self-contained energy absorbing units that are designed to safely stop a vehicle.
The Commissioner also advised motorists to expect lane closures during the construction and urged reduced speed and extra caution when traveling through the work zone. Local police officers will be utilized for traffic control.
The truck ramp project will affect five private properties along Route 44, two of which are being purchased in their entirety by the DOT to provide the proper right of way for the ramp. The other three property owners will be compensated appropriately for the pieces of their property that will be required for the project.
In September, the State Traffic Commission, composed of the Commissioners of the Departments of Transportation, Motor Vehicles and Public Safety, approved a temporary ban on “through trucks” weighing more than 13 tons on that stretch of Route 44 through January 1, 2008. It is anticipated that the ban will be extended until the ramp is completed.