The Bridge Wins Again.


On April 7, a Penske truck hit the canopener, got peeled and then stuck, right as the #75 Piedmont from Raleigh to Charlotte was crossing the bridge. 45 Minutes later the truck was extracted from the jaws of the canopener.

2 Responses to “The Bridge Wins Again.”

  1. Percy Veer says:

    I know you guys have been posting these beheadings for a while now and it just amazes me that we put a man on the moon but can’t seem to solve this problem. I think you even put up the video a while back when they raised the bridge from 11’8″ to 12’4″ to try to fix the problem. I wonder if those folks did any kind of cost benefit study to determine if raising the bridge 8″ was the best thing to do. Seems like the big expense was the act of raising the bridge in the first place and it wouldn’t have cost much more to go a little higher, say 12″ to 16″ or just put up some kind of breakaway device before the intersection that would let drivers know they won’t make it thru. Either way, it’s an interesting problem and it will be interesting to see if anything more is done to fix it. In the meantime they might want to send a memo to all the local box truck rental companies because they obviously didn’t get the first one.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Percy Veer,

      Thanks for the comment.

      It is our understanding that they can’t lower the road because there is a main sewage / water pipe under it.

      Raising the bridge would cost millions and millions because trains don’t take changes in grade very well and a video we watched on that option was that they’d have to change the rail height (and corresponding intersections) to get over the “hump” of the bridge for miles before and after the bridge. So everything would have to be changed.

      One of the things that we didn’t see in this video was that there is a height sensor mounted further down the street. When the sensor is tripped, the big black message board flashes something like “TRUCK TOO TALL – YOU MUST TURN.” That didn’t appear to be on when the truck hits. It still is amazing that people hit it because of simply an awareness thing. You’d think they’d know about the bridge and its can-opener reputation.

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.

  2. […] of our favorite commenters commented about raising the bridge and the surrounding tracks, and in our response, we […]