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UHP troopers hit the highway to pick up trash, not speeders

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NEPHI — Utah Highway Patrol troopers took their jobs to the next level — quite literally patrolling the highway — but they weren’t looking for speeders.

“We're just out here picking up trash in the median. Figured this would be a good way of combining the Colonel’s Challenge, as well as a pride for our community,” said trooper Jeff Blankenagel, who spearheaded the group of troopers in Nephi.

The Colonel’s Challenge is a fitness initiative amongst UHP troopers.

“I don't know if they realized quite the job it would be," Sgt. Corey Houskeeper said. "I think everyone is sweating at this point and really working pretty hard."

The troopers picked up trash on northbound I-15 near mile marker 225.

“There's plenty of product to be picked up. We've got big chunks of wood, big chunks of metal,” said Blankenagel. "It's kind of embarrassing to see how filthy our roads actually are."

UHP hopes drivers will help by not throwing trash out their windows.

And while it was a great workout, the troopers said they saw enough trash for the day.

“I grew up in rural Utah, and we actually had a stretch of highway that our family adopted and we'd go out and clean it twice a year," Blakenagel said. "So we're kind of trying to continue that on here."

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Caitlin Burchill


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