Can opener, open thy cans no more

The light has gone out in my life.

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The construction will end an era of drivers not paying attention to signs and flashing lights warning them of the bridge’s height and then having the top of their truck torn off.

Dump truck drivers: “Challenge accepted.”

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Okay, so… I RTFA, and I still didn’t see the info I was looking for:

I thought the infamous bridge “couldn’t” be physically raised or lowered?

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Do not despair. There’s only so much they can raise it, and you can bet your bottom dollar that overheight trucks will still speed through that intersection.

If they raise it to 12’, a 12’4" truck will not be far behind.

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Let’s pour one out for my 11-foot-8 comment thread bingo card, which I never really got to make good use of.

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I don’t know, but I’d guess they’re showing that with enough negative social media attention, anything can be moved.

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My best guess is that short-run grade for railway can be comparatively extreme. Not sure how much additional clearance that will provide, though, with the level crossings on either side of the bridge.

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It always could be raised but the cost/labor is prohibitive. I am guessing the railroad has a way to shut down the mile or so of track to regrade the bridges plural as the track has to be raised very gradually and maybe the insurance companies are telling them it would now be cheaper for them to raise the bridge.

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If they aren’t modifying the grade of the railroad (which it looks like they aren’t) then there are only two ways to “raise” the bridge: 1. reinforce the bridge while increasing clearance, or 2. lower the road bed.

It’s possible with modern materials engineering, they can reduce the material thickness of the bridge while maintaining it’s load rating. However, I don’t think that’s what they are doing, since they would still have to close it to rail traffic for quite some time.

So that means they are going with option #2. They may have figured out how to avoid cutting into the subsurface pipes that run under the road or they have a way of bypassing them temporarily while rebuilding them at a lower level to make room for a lower road surface.

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According to this too-brief cable news article, they are “raising the bridge eight inches”. They’ve been doing a lot of track work over there recently (though some of it was clearly removing a disused parallel line). I wonder if they’re already in the process of chocking up the rail ties. The “actual bridge raising” is supposed to happen in one day.

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Coming soon: The Durham Train Jump!

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I’m always cautious when newspapers or TV news says “raise” because that could just as easily mean they are lowering the road.

But if you’ve seen rail work over there, then they are probably raising the bridge. I just can’t imagine how they are raising it 8" without dozens of miles of track construction on either side to match the grade.

Other than @RickMycroft’s point about turning it into a ramp!

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Apparently it’s a 100% NCRR project, which suggests only the rail bed and equipment is involved. Also, the budget is $500,000? What?

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Don’t forget:

“Deflate the tires!”

“Reminds me of stupid college kids driving U-Hauls on Storrow Drive…”

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I’m pleased to see that my comments alone don’t generate a “Bingo”.

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I hope @frauenfelder is on this news and that his world is not shattered.

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I’ll give you a lower bridge in sympathy.

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I appreciate this, though I am slightly disappointed by the lack of vehicles wedged under that bridge.

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I’d have to assume that this one was the straw that broke tore off the camel’s back:

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