Here's the video for crash #147 at the 11foot8 bridge

Originally published at:


That pedestrian did not even flinch – sang froid


Win for the bystander.


He’s a replicant! Call Harrison Ford!


“why don’t they lower the road or just make the bridge higher, this design mistake is all Durham’s fault” arriving in 3… 2…


This is my favorite story of a truck driving under a bridge too small.

I drove past it on my way home from work. It must have just happened, there were no police on the scene yet.


I read about this issue a lot from all over the place. I can’t believe there isn’t a solution yet. How about a long yellow horizontal thick plastic tube hanging from chains 30’ before the bridge? You see this type of warning system at public parking garages all the time. I am not an expert but find it difficult to believe that there isn’t a reasonable solution.

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Bridge - 147

Over Height Trucks - 0


Implacable backpack dude on the sidewalk is implacable!


That is a good one.

On the one hand that would be a good idea.

On the other, suggesting that there needs to be a “solution” is implying that the current state of affairs is a “problem”, and I’m not certain I agree!

Drivers could also 1) know the clearance of their vehicle and 2) read the many, many conspicuous signs.


From the FAQ:

Could they install a low-clearance bar?

A low clearance bar is a bar suspended by chains ahead of the bridge. Overheight vehicles hit that bar first and the noise alerts the driver to to the problem. I understand that this approach has been successful in other places, but it’s not practical here. There are many overheight trucks that have to be able to drive right up to the bridge and turn onto Peabody St. in order to deliver supplies to several restaurants. Making Peabody St inaccessible from Gregson St would make the restaurant owners and the delivery drivers very unhappy.


Let’s just cut that off and leave this here:

From the FAQ:

Can’t the road be lowered?

That would be prohibitively expensive because a sewer main runs just a few feet below the road bed. That sewer main also dates back about a hundred years and, again, at the time there were no real standards for minimum clearance for railroad underpasses.

Can’t the bridge be raised?

Here, too, the question is who would want to pay the millions of dollars to raise the tracks a couple of feet? To accomplish this, the grade of the tracks would have to changed on both sides of the trestle, probably for several miles. That would require rebuilding all trestles in Durham. And NS would have to shut down this busy track for months. I don’t think they are interested in that idea.


Definite points for style. Curiously the overheight sign didn’t light up. nevermind, it did

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Quick, someone mention the waterfall curtain!


Did you not watch that video? The driver sped up to run a red light under a flashing sign telling them they were too tall, into a great big reflective yellow and white warning bar, and they didn’t even react until they’d destroyed the top of their vehicle and gone all the way under it.

What part of your plastic tube is going to do anything about that?

And if you watch these videos you see that pattern over and over. They ignore the warning, often while running the red light. The only solution, which isn’t possible, is to increase the clearance. Even if you banned trucks from that road entirely they’d still ignore that and go crash into it anyway.


You can see in the first angle that it is, in fact, lit. This is another case of someone running the light when it gets triggered by the laser sensor.

Edit: surprised to see that it’s a Davey truck, since they have local offices in the area and do a lot of work in Durham. One would think their drivers would get the warning about the bridge that eats trucks.


Incredible. Didn’t appear to twitch a molecule.

If this were a Hollywood film, that truck would explode.

In slow motion.



Plastic tubing which is (a) noisy when struck, and (b) harmless placed over the street the block(s) before (possibly coordinated with well designed light-up signs) the truck-eating bridge would alert drivers of above height vehicles to pay attention to height right now.