NORTH BAY, Ont. — At approximately 10:30 a.m. this Thursday, June 25, a 2004 International 9400 towing a six-axle flatbed aluminum trailer loaded with concrete blocks will be driven at 90 km/h off a highway and into a really weird barrier and you can watch it all unfold live on your computer by logging on to www.highway11northbay.com.
Point being, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is demonstrating new state-of-the-art runaway lane technology, which is being installed at Thibeault Hill in the central Ontario town of North Bay, near where highway 11 meets 17.
The ramp uses a dragnet system, consisting of seven metal nets attached to energy absorbers. It’s similar to the jet-stopping technology you’ve seen on aircraft carriers.
The system uses far less distance than the conventional gravel bed ramps, so drivers have more time to make that last-minute OMG-type decision.
The Ministry also says the new ramp is more effective in winter, plus easier to maintain.
This is also the only truck runaway ramp in Ontario. And if the weather’s too lousy to run the demonstration Thursday at 10:30, it’ll be bumped to 1:30 in the afternoon or, failing that, 10:30 a.m. Friday.
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