The truck-eating bridge claims its latest victim

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I like the pedestrian on the right. Just keeps walking then looks back like not again.


The light turns red (in response to the truck, I believe) a solid three seconds before the truck decides to barrel through the red light and ignore the flashing sign.

In fairness, the idiot in the SUV ran the red light as well.

I think the sign is clearly not clear enough, since obviously everyone keeps crashing into the bridge. I think “OVERHEIGHT / MUST TURN” is not specific enough that you are “overheight.” It could read as “if you are overheight, you must turn,” and the drivers just feel like it doesn’t apply to the specifically.

I think “OVERHEIGHT TRUCK DETECTED. MUST NOT ENTER” would be a little clearer.


First the truck flagrantly runs the red light, then it gets ripped apart so extensively that a pedestrian has to dodge bits and pieces. Excellent narrative, well thought out composition. A classic! A+


This never gets old.


The red light, a universal symbol all drivers are familiar with, was insufficient to convince the truck driver not to enter the intersection at speed. Why would any other sign or signal help?

The steel beam protecting the bridge is exactly the right approach.


Perhaps an archway slightly further up the street would at least not be such an inconvenience to traffic when someone drives into it?

But I’m sure someone’s thought of that already. An archway of sufficient strength would probably be too costly for whatever benefit it may provide.

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I think its overdue for something different to protect trucks and this bridge. I think additional red lights might help but a better idea might be putting some kind of air bag thing that would drop down in the face of a truck driver. And a big fine for any driver that triggers the air bag so the taxpayers don’t get stuck with the bill to reset it.
Certainly some kind of arch could be placed further up the road. And since there is not much road before that intersection, maybe 3 arches would be needed. One for each approach.

I fear that due to these incessant attacks from trucks that someday a train passes overhead and the bridge collapses.
I really think it behooves city planners to address this so it doesn’t keep happening.

That is what the big ass steel bar before the bridge is for. The truck has already had a haircut before it gets to the bridge.


An archway that’s taller, but with chains that dangle to 11’8" ought to do work, and woulden’t need to be much stronger. It would make a loud audible clank when struck.

IIRC the “Big Dig” tunnel in Boston has chains, sensors, lights, since an accident there would bring a grinding halt to traffic.

Though, some people can’t be helped, no matter what you do.


Or, you can make something foolproof, but you can’t make it damned-foolproof.


Got to poking around on google maps & thought it was interesting to see that there is an even lower bridge not too far away that measures in at 11’ 4". This is apparently not a problem for it though.


It’s difficult to fathom how loud this kind of accident is until it happens near you.



I drove a moving truck around Boston for years, a city replete with low clearances, and I had my share of close calls (“will we fit? I dunno! Jimmy you wanna get on the hood and watch the roof?”)

Regionally based truckers are aware of these can openers, however, owing to the fact that ~70k young humans come to the city each September to begin their university studies, every year for Labor Day week (in industry parlance, Hell Week) parents who don’t know what they’re getting into manage to get Uhauls stuck under the bridges along Storrow Drive (despite the hangy chains and numerous, large and clearly posted signs saying don’t do that at every entrance) and elsewhere, sardine canning a fleets worth of 16’ trucks, and in general causing mass chaos in a city well-known for chaotic driving under best conditions.

It never got old! It also helped that once hell week was over you’d have enough loot to go on vacation.


i think the grade of the hill and the open air behind it make the bridge height hard to judge. the one you found ( good find! ) definitely looks like a low bridge.

maybe they should drop the height of the bridge ( with chains or even a wooden frame ) so that it can’t let anything taller than a passenger vehicle through. that’d be the clearest indication it’s not going to work.

i do wonder: does google, etc. take height into account? if you’re just following your nav and it says: go straight - maybe you’re thinking everything is going to be fine regardless of your eyes and the warning signs


Serously. 143 times since 2008. Dig the roadway down 6"; add drainage.

Nah, that’s definitely not happening. :

  • The North Carolina Railroad Company owns the train trestle, and their concern is primarily with keeping the trains running and keeping them running safely. So their concern is mainly with reducing the impact of the truck crashes on the actual structure of the train trestle. As far as they are concerned, they solved that problem by installing the crash beam.
  • The North Carolina Dept. of Transportation maintains the road, but not the signage. I suspect they have much bigger problems to deal with statewide than this bridge.

[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.

Of course, even 6" is less than “a few feet”.


You need 6” more, 24’ box trucks like pictured are generally between 12’-6 and 13’ (although I’ve always suspected there’s a slight amount of lying play to the numbers in an attempt to keep heroes from trying to squeeze into places they shouldn’t. So 12’6 is really more like 12’4. Clearances in garages are similarly cheated in the opposite direction. Bridges are a case by case basis.)


Yes but the construction work of tearing up the road and roadbed which would take more than 6" would probably cause other issues like collapsing the 100 year old sewer main.

Really at this point the only thing that would stop idiots from tearing off the top of their trucks would be to just close off the section of road which would probably have other complications.

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