Park City Increases Enforcement on Marsac Avenue After Brake Failure Caused Dump Truck Crash
Following last week’s dump truck crash at the Marsac Avenue and Deer Valley Drive roundabout, Park City government is stepping up the enforcement of brake inspection rules on the road and exploring alternate routes into the city for truck drivers.
Traffic was disrupted for the entire day last Wednesday after a dump truck descending Marsac Avenue crashed into the roundabout with Deer Valley Drive, struck two other vehicles, sent three people to the hospital, and downed power lines.
The Utah Highway Patrol reports the truck’s brakes failed while descending Marsac after the driver did not stop at the mandatory brake check area across from the Ontario Mine. Trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds are required to stop and inspect their brakes before descending Marsac into Park City. UHP is handling the investigation of the accident because SR 224 and Marsac fall under its jurisdiction.
In response to the accident, Park City Police Captain Phil Kirk says the department has stepped up brake check enforcement efforts on the road. He says the checks are primarily educational, but repeat and egregious offenders will receive citations.
“We’re doing a lot of enforcement up on the mine road to make sure we don’t have another -- hopefully prevent another accident -- like we had with the truck going through the roundabout, so we’re spending a lot of time up there, myself included, doing enforcement and writing citations,” said Kirk.
Large trucks also have the option to descend into Park City on Royal Street through Deer Valley. Deputy City Manager David Everitt says the city is considering new restrictions on truck routes.
“You can go [down] the Royal Street route for sure, but that comes with its own set of challenges,” Everitt said. “Some of the turns on that street are much tighter, and so it’s not necessarily a better option, but we are evaluating whether in certain situations we should look at requiring trucks associated with construction to use that route.”
Further complicating the issue is the city’s ban on engine braking, also called “jake braking,” where a driver releases compressed air in the engine through a truck’s exhaust, causing a loud noise. The braking is banned in Park City to prevent noise pollution.
However, engine braking is allowed to “avoid imminent danger.” Engine braking is also allowed on Royal Street, Aerie Drive, and the Ontario Canyon area of SR 224.
Kirk adds the department is also considering altering the current signage on Marsac in order to make the road’s regulations more obvious to truck drivers.
“We’re taking a look at that and maybe trying to make it more visible,” said Kirk. “Some of the drivers that I’ve contacted have said that they, for whatever reason, did not see the sign. It’s a pretty large sign, there’s actually several of them there, but for whatever reason they’re saying they’re not seeing the sign”
This most recent accident comes after two dump trucks also crashed in the Empire Pass area of Marsac late last summer. Utah Department of Transportation representative Courtney Samuel says UDOT does not place restrictions for dump trucks on state routes, and does not have any projects scheduled to reconfigure SR 224 and Empire Pass.