No more trucks stuck in Vermont's infamous Smugglers' Notch?

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Here's the obstacle course Vermont installed at the open of Notch Road to deter trucks from attempting the climb. Think it will work?
Here's the obstacle course Vermont installed at the open of Notch Road to deter trucks from attempting the climb. Think it will work?
Photo courtesy of the Vermont Agency of Transportation

Perhaps the most dangerous road in the U.S. for big commercial trucks reopened on Tuesday, but this year, a new obstacle course should hopefully stop any tractor-trailers from getting stuck on Vermont's infamous Notch Road. 

If all goes to plan, something of an annual tradition, locals betting on when the first truck will get stuck, will come to an end. But let's hope it does. 

"Scenic VT-108 (Smugglers Notch or The Notch Road) is OPEN for the 2024 season as of 12:00 PM on May 14, 2024," Vermont's Agency of Transportation announced on Tuesday. "Crews are opening the gates on either side of the mountain and message signs have been illuminated indicating the reopening."

The agency then emphasized this in bold type in a release:

Vehicles over 40-feet and combination vehicles over 45-feet in length are NOT permitted through this section of roadway per 23 VSA Â§ 1006b.

Despite multiple signs in multiple languages, dozens of PSAs and hundreds of news articles, trucks still find themselves stuck on this road multiple times a season. Last year, by Overdrive's count, at least half a dozen went up in combination, and down bobtailing, likely under the hook of a wrecker. 

To prevent that, Vermont installed a "chicane course" to make it abundantly clear to anyone with eyes that this road won't work for large commercial combinations. 

"Motorists are advised to exercise caution and patience at the Stowe and Cambridge sides of Smugglers’ Notch as new traffic control devices have been installed," AOT wrote. "These devices, known as chicanes, recreate the configuration of the roadway geometry at the top of the Notch. The objective of the chicanes is to allow overlength vehicles the ability to turn around before causing obstructions in the Notch."

If enough Overdrive readers see this and email [email protected], I'll get in my car, hitch the trailer and attempt the obstacle course myself. 

[Related: The most dangerous road for truckers in all of America? Smugglers' Notch claims another]