Smugglers Notch is getting curved barriers to help with stuck trucks
The story is as reliable as the changing seasons — tractor-trailer trucks getting stuck on the road up Smugglers Notch. Four semis were ensnared on Route 108 just this year.
That's why the state Agency of Transportation is installing curved barriers to encourage trucks to turn around before heading up the Notch.
The News and Citizen first reported that the agency plans to install chicanes on the Stowe and Cambridge sides of the roadway.
Todd Sears with the Agency of Transportation says when trucks get stuck on top of the Notch, they can block traffic for hours. But he says the barriers will make extracting a stuck truck quicker and easier.
The goal is to simulate the angles trucks would have to pass on the Notch — but much lower in elevation.
“If they do get stuck in the chicane course they can back out and then just turn around and head down the mountain as opposed to being stuck and blocking both lanes," Sears says.
Sears says the chicanes are experimental. The state will test new materials and configurations over the next couple years.
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