RIVERDALE -- Utah Department of Transportation officials hope a few new high-tech signs will stop fruit from falling in Riverdale.
The department recently installed a new set of solar-powered LED lights on the exit ramp from southbound Interstate 15 to eastbound Interstate 84 in Riverdale, nicknamed "Applesauce Corner" for the number of high-profile semitrailer crashes involving produce that have occurred on the road.
"We've placed two new sets of signs on the road that are equipped with flashing red lights and are very visible," said UDOT Project Manager Darin Fristrup. "We want to create more driver awareness."
The latest crash on the ramp occurred in November 2009, when a southbound semi hauling apples rolled over onto its side and on to the concrete barrier on the I-15 overpass.
The truck attempted to make the turn onto the exit ramp to eastbound I-84.
A 28-year-old pregnant woman from California was killed in the crash.
The woman, who was the wife of the truck driver, was ejected from the truck's sleeper.
Apples from the truck spilled out after the accident, causing the ramp to be closed for several hours.
UDOT Region One Traffic Engineer Darin Duersch said the ramp has been a trouble spot for years, mostly for large trucks not obeying posted speed limits.
"Even with big signs that attract a lot of attention, it's still important for the motorist to make wise decisions and obey the posted speed limit," he said.
"Most people who drive on the road are safe, but for that small percentage that isn't, we hope these new signs will make a difference."
But Duersch said trying to improve safety on the road doesn't end with new signs.
"The crash history is pretty solidly tied to these produce trucks that come out here and deliver produce from the Pacific Northwest," he said. "So we've tried to reach to some of these produce companies and educate them on better ways to pack their loads."
The state has also installed new guard barriers along the road, Duersch said.
Fristrup and Duersch both said the state has reviewed the road for safety after each fatal crash on the road, concluding that the corridor is safe -- if it's used properly.
"The road is absolutely safe," Duersch said. "But people need to be aware out there and pay attention. We hope these signs will help accomplish that."