VDOT bans tractor-trailers on stretch of state Route 664
February 9, 2021
Trucks are no longer allowed on a certain stretch of state Route 664 in Virginia after numerous incidents involving stuck commercial vehicles on the curvy road.
According to a Virginia Department of Transportation news release, through-traffic tractor-trailers are prohibited on Beech Grove/Reeds Gap Road from Mount Torrey Road (state Route 664)/Love Road (State Route 814) in Augusta County to Patrick Henry Highway (VA 151) in Nelson County. The stretch of road is about 8 miles.
Truckers will be alerted to the new restrictions with signs. VDOT encourages truck drivers to use Interstate 64 and U.S. 29 as alternative routes. The truck ban applies only to through-traffic tractor-trailers.
Any tractor-trailer with points of origin or destination along the route may still access state Route 664.
Truck traffic has increased in the area due to economic development in Nelson and Augusta counties, according to VDOT. State Route 664 in the affected area is a mountainous route. Consequently, the road contains sharp curves and steep hills. Tractor-trailers regularly get stuck, impeding traffic and emergency response crews.
In response to the issue, VDOT looked into possible solutions and made several temporary efforts to solve the problem. However, the number of stuck trucks only increased, causing more incidents and delays. VDOT conducted a traffic engineering study to further look into the problem.
According to VDOT, some of the truck traffic was generated by drivers relying on GPS devices. Signs were posted warning truckers that GPS routing is not advised on the route.
Issues along the route are similar to problems experienced on a portion of Route 108 in Vermont. More commonly known as Smugglers’ Notch, tractor-trailers get stuck on the curvy mountain route every year despite signs warning truckers that tractor-trailers are prohibited. The problem led to an increase in fines from $162 to a range of $1,200 to nearly $5,000. Using Route 108 saves only 11 minutes compared to the truck-legal route using Routes 15 and 100. However, GPS units are often the culprit when truckers find themselves stuck on Smugglers’ Notch. LL