Report: Connecticut to build runaway-truck ramp on mountain

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Connecticut’s trucking industry endorsed a state transportation plan announced last week to build a runaway-truck ramp on Avon Mountain following a second truck crash in as many years, the Associated Press reported Friday, Sept. 28.

“Go build it,” Michael J. Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, told the news agency. Truckers blame safety problems on the terrain of Route 44, not drivers or trucks, Riley told AP.

The state is looking for permanent truck safety improvements on the Avon side of Route 44, the site of 190 accidents and 99 injuries between 1999 and 2004. Building the ramp was prompted by a truck crash into a furniture store earlier this month; the trucker suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A temporary ban on through-truck traffic on Avon Mountain has been in effect since Sept. 11, four days after the accident. Two years ago, four people died in another crash at the mountain.

According to the AP, construction of the emergency ramp will require seizing two homes, said James H. Norman, an acting engineering administrator, at a presentation to the trucking group. Officials said they want to build the ramp as quickly as possible and are aiming to complete the project by Jan. 1, the news service reported.