WYDOT to Retrofit Life-Saving CatchNET Near Buffalo
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 24, 2023
The Wyoming Department of Transportation Commission awarded S&S Builders of Cheyenne a $1.4 million contract to retrofit the runaway truck system on US 16 west of Buffalo at mile marker 85.40.
Work will begin the week of May 29 and is scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2023.
While work is being completed on this project, the truck arrestor – known as a CatchNET system – will be closed to traffic.
A truck arrester catch-net cable system is a series of eight to ten cable nets that span across a long, narrow ramp adjacent to the highway used to stop runaway vehicles. They are typically installed on mountain passes or highway routes with a steep grade of 6% or more.
Due to advancements in the cable system design, a retrofit will increase safety for the traveling public that may have to utilize the system in the future.
The CatchNET at this particular spot – “Deadman’s Curve” – is already proven to be a life-saving addition to U.S. Highway 16.
In July 2021, a semi-truck carrying a load of bentonite lost control and successfully used the CatchNET system to prevent a serious accident. The driver and one passenger walked away from the incident unharmed.
In another tragic event, a semi-truck driver unfamiliar with the region died after his truck lost control and crashed in August 2022. An investigation determined he drove right past the CatchNET system before the crash.
W.Y.D.O.T. announced its intent to retrofit the system before the crash.
Motorists will encounter reduced speed limits, flagging operations, and periodic one-way traffic near and through the work zone.
W.Y.D.O.T. conducted a test of the CatchNET installed on Teton Pass in July 2021. The department posted a video of the test, showing how the CatchNET system works.