Do trucks actually use those runaway ramps?
With ski season nearly here, we’re resigned to spending more time on I-70 while chasing snowstorms in the Rocky Mountains. Inevitably, when we pass the emergency ramps along the sides of the highway, we wonder: Do trucks actually use those? The answer is yes—hundreds of times a season. In fact, the Lower Straight Creek ramp (westbound side of I-70, between the Eisenhower Tunnel and Silverthorne) is one of the most-used runaway truck ramps in the country. We break down the numbers.
280 - Number of times Colorado’s emergency truck ramps were used last year.
16 - Thickness, in inches, of the gravel on the ramp. Most trucks need a tow to back off the ramp.
207 - Number of times the Lower Straight Creek ramp was used last year.
1 - Years of mountain driving experience common among truck drivers who use the ramps.
53 mph - The average speed of a truck when it enters the emergency ramp; the speed limit for commercial vehicles where truck ramps are located is 35 mph.
22 - Number of times the Mt. Vernon Canyon ramp (eastbound side of I-70, between the Genesee and Morrison exits) was used last year, making it the second-most-used ramp in Colorado.