As is normal, I see the “wreck of the week” pictured on the front page of the Sun Advocate. I have lived in Carbon and Emery Counties over 30 years. In that time, I have had many friends and acquaintances seriously hurt or killed on our notorious highway 191/6. In that same 30 years, UDOT has implemented numerous improvements, most of which are implemented on those stretches of highway that are easiest to fix. The Red Narrows and other obvious death traps remain unchanged; and each year the number of fatalities goes up.
The constant increase may not be associated with the actual road condition, but more directly tied to the number of vehicles. I understand that the number of vehicles that use 191/6 between Green River/Price exit and Spanish Fork is in excess of 140 % of the design capacity of the highway. With the advent of increased energy development, this percentage will only go up. Along with it, a corresponding increase in accidents will continue.
It is apparent that long-range solutions will cost millions of dollars and take decades to implement while we continue to lose friends and family member who travel this treacherous stretch of road.
Yet there is a solution that could be implemented within days and cost a few thousand dollars. The fix is simple: get the damn interstate trucks on the interstate and limit heavy trucks to local traffic only. If a truck is not stationed in Carbon or Emery County or has a delivery or pick-up in the county, mandate that they use the highway built for their use, I-70.
The economic impacts to a few businesses are minor if compared to saving one life or serious injuries that occur in accidents. It is estimated that 60 percent of the traffic currently on 191/6 between Spanish Fork and Green River is heavy semis that take a short cut to save a few miles. Is this savings worth the added risk to all the users of the highway?
I travel with my job throughout the country. I see signs such as “Local truck traffic only” posted in almost every state, why not here? Perhaps the state isn’t that concerned if a few of those non-conforming Carbon County residents get killed.
If you agree this solution is worth writing to or e-mailing UDOT, the governor, and your local state representatives.
Enough is enough.