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Friday, December 3, 2021

Any vehicle may take the I-15 runway-truck ramp in an emergency

NS. Hi hon. I noticed on a recent trip to Las Vegas that there’s a runaway-truck ramp along the Cajon Pass. How often are ramps used? Do trucks get stuck on ramps and have to be towed? And are there any injuries to the drivers? Can the car use the ramp if needed?

– Carol Walling, Fountain Valley

a. The ramp, approximately 1,200 feet long and parallel to I-15 on the south side, is three miles from the peak. The north side, because of how it’s sloped, doesn’t require a ramp.

“The truck escape ramp is made of half an inch to an inch of rock,” said Terry Kasinga, a Caltrans spokeswoman. “Caltrans maintenance teams maintain the truck ramp and inflate the material. …

“If a vehicle or truck enters the ramp, a tow service will remove the vehicle as they are normally unable to drive once in the cliff,” she said.

From January 1, 2019 to mid-November, it was used five times, twice by trucks and three times by cars, Caltrans records show.

The ramp is “very effective” Michael Tovsen, an official and spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol in that section told Honk.

“I personally haven’t seen any injuries, and I’ve asked officers who have been in the office for almost 20 years who haven’t seen any injuries from using the ramp.”

Was it okay for those cars to use the ramp?

“As long as it’s an emergency … the escape ramp can be used by any vehicle,” Towsen said, citing brake failure as an example.

Definitely sounds like an important tool – an out-of-control semi with a trailer hauling down Cajon Pass through traffic is a bad, bad idea.

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