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Regional Boards => Southeast => Topic started by: mrsman on July 22, 2015, 11:07:26 PM

Title: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: mrsman on July 22, 2015, 11:07:26 PM
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2015/07/they-still-havent-fixed-that-north-carolina-bridge-that-decapitates-trucks/399053/

Quote

Another year, another opportunity to check in with Durham, North Carolina’s notorious truck-decapitating underpass.

Eleven feet, eight inches—that’s all the room there is below the Gregson Street bridge. Glaring signs, flashing lights, and a bright-yellow crash bar all attest to the dangerously low clearance. Yet trucks continue to batter it like besiegers trying to take down the castle door. A thundering accident on July 9 marked the 95th crash since 2008, says Jürgen Henn, a local who’s garnered worldwide fame filming the mayhem. “By the way,” wonders one of his German YouTube fans, “do you prepare a small gift or a nice certificate for the 100th crash driver?”

Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Zeffy on July 22, 2015, 11:10:16 PM
Oh come on. They've placed ample warning devices before the overpass. If you miss all of those, you deserve to total your vehicle. GPS doesn't replace the necessity for paying attention to the road you are on.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 22, 2015, 11:22:09 PM
This is just one of many bridges that rips trucks apart across the country. There is one on Elmora Ave. (NJ-439) in Elizabeth that has the same collection of warning signs that go ignored.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: mrsman on July 23, 2015, 06:06:49 AM
I agree that it is the driver's responsibility to not let this happen.

But it still behooves the question as to what should the DOT do as it is still happening.  This is the only place I know of where these collisions occur with this type of frequency.

I would treat this like bad behaved children.  If one misbehaves, the whole class could lose out on a privilege.

So I would put up signs to prohibit all moving vans, trucks, buses (except transit) and RVs from going under the bridge.  Passenger cars and transit buses only.

Then, I'd redirect the trucks to turn left on Peabody, right on S Duke, and right on Memorial to continue their journey.  The left lane of S Duke would have course need to convert to a southbound lane.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Zeffy on July 23, 2015, 06:19:37 AM
So I would put up signs to prohibit all moving vans, trucks, buses (except transit) and RVs from going under the bridge.  Passenger cars and transit buses only.

If the three warning signs aren't helping, how will regulatory signs do anything? Perhaps on the approach to the bridge, there needs to be a large (so you can't miss it) sign that states LOW BRIDGE WARNING or something similar.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: cjk374 on July 23, 2015, 06:22:02 AM
The world is full of dumb asses! This poor bridge in NC solidifies this fact.  :pan: :banghead:
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: rickmastfan67 on July 23, 2015, 07:55:33 AM
Simple solution for this case....

If a truck triggers the overheight system, install some RR gates at the bridge to come down before the truck gets there.  That should get their attention and prevent a hit!
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: MikeTheActuary on July 23, 2015, 12:04:52 PM
Simple solution for this case....

If a truck triggers the overheight system, install some RR gates at the bridge to come down before the truck gets there.  That should get their attention and prevent a hit!

If drivers are ignoring warning signs and alerts...why would they bother stopping for gates?

Sometimes only Darwin can fix stupid.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: froggie on July 23, 2015, 12:57:45 PM
Since Gregson is a 2-lane street, any such gates would also impact legally-traveling cars and pickups who may happen to be paralleling the overheight truck.  This proposal is even less realistic than the suggestion to convert Duke St to 2-way across the tracks
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: WashuOtaku on July 23, 2015, 10:43:28 PM
But it still behooves the question as to what should the DOT do as it is still happening.  This is the only place I know of where these collisions occur with this type of frequency.

Not much NCDOT can do about the bridge, it's not there's.  Also, this is not the only bridge in the state that scalps trucks; this is just the most famous one because it's been video recorded for several years now.

As an example, NC 581, through Bailey, North Carolina has a short Truck Route just to bypass a 8'6" clearance rail bridge (https://www.google.com/maps/@35.780066,-78.119468,3a,75y,219.96h,71.58t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sowk_fb8IsHJ93zma90nnaw!2e0!7i3328!8i1664).  It too has several warning signs, a light flashers and steel beam to reflect the damage from the bridge too; yet still scalps a truck now and then regardless.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: DeaconG on July 24, 2015, 08:08:29 AM
Simple solution for this case....

If a truck triggers the overheight system, install some RR gates at the bridge to come down before the truck gets there.  That should get their attention and prevent a hit!

If drivers are ignoring warning signs and alerts...why would they bother stopping for gates?

Sometimes only Darwin can fix stupid.

Hang a sign that says "$2,500 FINE FOR STRIKING BRIDGE"...and collect it when they do.  The word will get out after awhile and the smart truckers will avoid it.  The stupid ones will pay the price.

Hell, they've done everything else, right? Hit 'em in the wallet and they'll get the point...even the truckers who don't own their own rigs will find themselves without work after one of two of those fines.

If they take it to court? After you show the various warning signs and overheight detectors, just show the videos.  Case closed.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 24, 2015, 08:23:08 AM
Simple solution for this case....

If a truck triggers the overheight system, install some RR gates at the bridge to come down before the truck gets there.  That should get their attention and prevent a hit!

If drivers are ignoring warning signs and alerts...why would they bother stopping for gates?

Sometimes only Darwin can fix stupid.

Hang a sign that says "$2,500 FINE FOR STRIKING BRIDGE"...and collect it when they do.  The word will get out after awhile and the smart truckers will avoid it.  The stupid ones will pay the price.

Hell, they've done everything else, right? Hit 'em in the wallet and they'll get the point...even the truckers who don't own their own rigs will find themselves without work after one of two of those fines.

If they take it to court? After you show the various warning signs and overheight detectors, just show the videos.  Case closed.

Again, people are ignoring signs in place.  Do you think that they are saying to themselves "Well, I have a 13' truck, and that bridge is only 11' high.  But the fine is only $200.  Oh, what the hell...I'll just go and hit it".

For many professional truck drivers, they are probably going to lose their job anyway.  The merchandise within the truck is destroyed, costing the trucking company, the supplier, and the customer time and money. 

If it was a rental truck, they hopefully have insurance coverage on the truck, or insurance coverage via their own auto policy.  And after paying the deductible, they're probably going to have a rate increase.

As far as tickets go - those tickets aren't cheap that they will receive  And you have to give a ticket for something that's actually a law.  Let me know which laws are in your state that prohibit hitting a bridge.  There probably aren't any.  But there are tickets for ignoring posted signs, driving on prohibited trucking routes, careless driving, etc.  And those tickets will add up.

Smart truckers are already avoiding the bridge.  It's not like every truck is hitting it.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: mrsman on July 24, 2015, 08:58:35 AM
Simple solution for this case....

If a truck triggers the overheight system, install some RR gates at the bridge to come down before the truck gets there.  That should get their attention and prevent a hit!

If drivers are ignoring warning signs and alerts...why would they bother stopping for gates?

Sometimes only Darwin can fix stupid.

Hang a sign that says "$2,500 FINE FOR STRIKING BRIDGE"...and collect it when they do.  The word will get out after awhile and the smart truckers will avoid it.  The stupid ones will pay the price.

Hell, they've done everything else, right? Hit 'em in the wallet and they'll get the point...even the truckers who don't own their own rigs will find themselves without work after one of two of those fines.

If they take it to court? After you show the various warning signs and overheight detectors, just show the videos.  Case closed.

Again, people are ignoring signs in place.  Do you think that they are saying to themselves "Well, I have a 13' truck, and that bridge is only 11' high.  But the fine is only $200.  Oh, what the hell...I'll just go and hit it".

For many professional truck drivers, they are probably going to lose their job anyway.  The merchandise within the truck is destroyed, costing the trucking company, the supplier, and the customer time and money. 

If it was a rental truck, they hopefully have insurance coverage on the truck, or insurance coverage via their own auto policy.  And after paying the deductible, they're probably going to have a rate increase.

As far as tickets go - those tickets aren't cheap that they will receive  And you have to give a ticket for something that's actually a law.  Let me know which laws are in your state that prohibit hitting a bridge.  There probably aren't any.  But there are tickets for ignoring posted signs, driving on prohibited trucking routes, careless driving, etc.  And those tickets will add up.

Smart truckers are already avoiding the bridge.  It's not like every truck is hitting it.

From what I've read about this bridge is that very few PROFESSIONAL truck drivers are hitting this bridge.  They know how tall their rigs are and they avoid it.

Most of the people that hit the bridge are those driving rental trucks to do personal moves.  Durham is a college town so a lot of students move in and out and are unfamiliar with the layout.  They rent a truck and don't focus on the height issue.  Most people renting a truck probably have no clue how tall it is or would even be aware that their truck could get stuck on any legal undercrossing.

By prohibiting all trucks from using the undercrossing, you will eliminate the excuse of "I didn't know my truck was so tall".

Yes, of course it is the fault of drivers for hitting this bridge.  Yes, the drivers and their insurance should pay all damages involved.  But the transportation professsionals shouldn't rest until the number of bridge hits is reduced significantly.

The parkways in NYC have many low clearances.  As a rule, trucks (and buses) are generally prohibited from using them.  There are clear signs that the roads are for passenger cars only.  Bridge hits are much more rare there, because the truck know they shouldn't be there in the first place.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: roadman on July 24, 2015, 09:25:56 AM
Quote
If it was a rental truck, they hopefully have insurance coverage on the truck, or insurance coverage via their own auto policy

Don't know about Durham, but in Boston, rental companies will invalidate the LDW if the truck is involved in a bridge strike on Storrow or Memorial Drives - the two main arterial "parkways" that have excessively low clearances.  It wouldn't surprise me if rental truck coverage via a personal auto policy would have similar stipulations.

That having been said, the Durham bridge - which actually has better signs than either Storrow or Memorial Drives - has the same basic problem as both of those roads.  There is NO alternate safe truck route posted.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Rothman on July 24, 2015, 06:00:14 PM
Quote from: mrsman link=topic=16046.msg2081139#msg2081139

Bridge hits are much more rare there, because the truck know they shouldn't be there in the first place.

Actually, bridge hits on the parkways are more common than you'd think.  There are commercial drivers that make spur-of-the-moment decisions to dodge congestion on expressways by ducking onto parkways and gambling they won't be caught...but then a bridge "catches" them.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Sykotyk on July 28, 2015, 07:54:00 PM
It's not so much that people are ignoring the signs, these trucks are, in a lot of cases, driven by people not realizing just how tall their vehicle is. Most 'low bridges' are restricting the bigger 12'8 or 13'6 trucks, but generally can fit a lot of the smaller box trucks, delivery trucks, moving trucks, RVs, campers, etc.

I had a friend who drove a delivery truck for a short while and never realized that his truck was just a half inch away from hitting a particular bridge until his boss told him not to take that route as another of their trucks struck it (apparently the suspension made it just a tad taller and opened it like a sardine can). He was completely oblivious to it. Never even thought about it the entire time. Had he driven the other truck, it would've been him to hit. Nobody told him, originally, that he couldn't take that road due to height.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: noelbotevera on July 28, 2015, 09:49:11 PM
Alabama style anyone?

Put up a reinforced sign saying "If you hit this sign you will hit that bridge".


My ideas:

(Sarcasm Intended) Just set up land mines for the next 2 blocks, and put up a sign saying "MINE FIELD".

(Being Real) Why not use strengthened railroad crossing gates, and then use a set up similar to the Eisenhower Tunnel - before the bridge, set up traffic signals with sensors. If a truck is over height, an alarm trips, the truck is diverted to a detour, then put back on their way. If the truck does not abide, railroad gates in front of the bridge will flip closed,  and the truck will crash into the gates. A dispatch crew can clear the truck, and a detour crew to guide the truck (if needed).
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: wdcrft63 on July 28, 2015, 10:29:09 PM
I live in Durham, and I think folks here are actually kind of fond of this bridge. It's a local street, not a numbered highway, and it's really not that hard to avoid. Here's a street view of the bridge:
https://goo.gl/maps/kp2W1
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: mwb1848 on July 29, 2015, 10:26:19 AM
A real part of the problem is that it's part of a one-way couplet. Greggerson Street goes south; Duke Street goes north. Greggerson crosses under, Duke crosses over. I'd recommend undoing the couplet at least as far north as West Main Street and adding signage that doesn't just prohibit southbound vehicles over 11'8" from using Greggerson, but directs them use use the at-grade crossing on Duke.

As it is, there is no nearby, intuitive alternative for southbound traffic to get to the other side of the crossing en route to the Durham Freeway.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: 1995hoo on July 29, 2015, 11:15:51 AM
There are quite a few videos of professional drivers hitting the Durham bridge.

There's not really much reason for students moving their stuff to use that road because it doesn't offer a logical connection for most students going to or from university-owned housing. Duke is a little unusual in that over 90% of undergrads live on-campus.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: orulz on July 29, 2015, 05:01:04 PM
The reason always cited that the street cannot simply be dug out to increase the clearance, is that there is sewer infrastructure very close to the surface. So the only way would be to raise the railroad.

What baffles me about this is that NCDOT, North Carolina Railroad, Norfolk Southern, and the city of Durham are planning a major grade separation project in downtown Durham that involves raising the railroad, but Gregson is not a part of it! The bridges at Roxboro Rd and I think Chapel Hill St will be raised (fixing clearance issues there too) and new split-grade separations (where the RR is raised and the road is lowered) will be built at Blackwell and Mangum.

If they extended the project about 1/2 mile further west, they could do a split-grade separation of Duke Street (Lower Duke ~10' + Raise RR 10'), and raise the railroad by about 5ft at Gregson achieving about 3ft of additional clearance and simultaneously upgrading the old fashioned bridge to a modern ballast-deck design

The Amtrak platform would have to be raised, perhaps 10' higher than its present configuration. It will have to be rebuilt anyway when they double track through here, rasing it 10' affords an opportunity to build an underpass to safely access a new center island platform.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Henry on July 30, 2015, 12:18:22 PM
Here's another brilliant idea:

Before the intersections that immediately precede the bridge on either side, put up signs that say LOW CLEARANCE/ALL TRUCKS OVER 11'8" MUST TURN RIGHT/LEFT. This way, truckers will be forced to follow a route that will more likely make their route longer, but at least it'll be worth it, compared to crashing through the bridge.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: hbelkins on July 30, 2015, 02:43:11 PM
Here's another brilliant idea:

Before the intersections that immediately precede the bridge on either side, put up signs that say LOW CLEARANCE/ALL TRUCKS OVER 11'8" MUST TURN RIGHT/LEFT. This way, truckers will be forced to follow a route that will more likely make their route longer, but at least it'll be worth it, compared to crashing through the bridge.

That still requires them to read and comprehend the signs, which if they complied with the signs already posted, wouldn't be a problem.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Sykotyk on July 30, 2015, 03:13:27 PM
Here's another brilliant idea:

Before the intersections that immediately precede the bridge on either side, put up signs that say LOW CLEARANCE/ALL TRUCKS OVER 11'8" MUST TURN RIGHT/LEFT. This way, truckers will be forced to follow a route that will more likely make their route longer, but at least it'll be worth it, compared to crashing through the bridge.

That still requires them to read and comprehend the signs, which if they complied with the signs already posted, wouldn't be a problem.

And for the non-professional truck drivers... they have to realize the sign applies to them. I know I saw a camper hauled by a pickup and many moving trucks.

I doubt none of those people knew the height of their vehicle or that they were anywhere near close enough to touch the bridge.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: wdcrft63 on July 30, 2015, 07:00:35 PM
A real part of the problem is that it's part of a one-way couplet. Greggerson Street goes south; Duke Street goes north. Greggerson crosses under, Duke crosses over. I'd recommend undoing the couplet at least as far north as West Main Street and adding signage that doesn't just prohibit southbound vehicles over 11'8" from using Greggerson, but directs them use use the at-grade crossing on Duke.

As it is, there is no nearby, intuitive alternative for southbound traffic to get to the other side of the crossing en route to the Durham Freeway.

It's Gregson St., not Greggerson. As things are now, southbound trucks need to use Buchanan Boulevard, about two blocks west. It might be possible to improve Duke St. to be 2-way (it's not as easy as repainting lanes) but if that were done I'd be in favor of closing the underpass altogether. This would have the advantage of taking traffic off Vickers Avenue, which is where Gregson traffic goes further south.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Brian556 on August 07, 2015, 12:47:45 AM
This situation poses a danger to other vehicles as well. Debris is coming off the trucks and campers that hit the bridge, and could strike another vehicle. Also, vehicles that hit the bridge come to a sudden stop, which could also cause an accident.

I'll be the government's attitude towards this is "If they can't read the signs, fuck them". Unfortunately, they fail to take into account the safety of other road users, as well as traffic congestion and emergency response burden caused by this.

They defiantly should fix this situation.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: wdcrft63 on August 07, 2015, 06:18:32 PM
Definitely. Apparently, this is the plan (as reported by WTVD-TV on June 22):

"The NC Department of Transportation agrees. In addition to the head bar and flashing lights already in place, the DOT plans to make this a lighted intersection. Drivers in all directions will stop when there's an over-height vehicle.

" 'It will go to red when an over-height vehicle is detected and force them off the side street,' explained John Sandor, a DOT Engineer. "Signs will illuminate that an overheight vehicle was detected and they must exit the road."
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Brian556 on August 08, 2015, 09:01:56 AM
I was thinking about why drivers have such a hard time with clearances. Humans have their eyes near the top of their body. Drivers sit about halfway up the height of a truck.

If humans had their eyes at belly button level, I suspect they would bump their heads on low objects much more frequently.

It's ridiculous that they want to just install signals instead of actually solving the problem.

Half assers. Cheapskates.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: mcdonaat on August 08, 2015, 11:14:34 PM
I was thinking about why drivers have such a hard time with clearances. Humans have their eyes near the top of their body. Drivers sit about halfway up the height of a truck.

If humans had their eyes at belly button level, I suspect they would bump their heads on low objects much more frequently.

It's ridiculous that they want to just install signals instead of actually solving the problem.

Half assers. Cheapskates.
The problem would be having to raise the bridge, which means raising the railroad grade for at least a good distance on each side. Now, what about creating a no-truck zone, where trucks CANNOT use the road? No trucks on road means no bridge-hitting.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: kkt on August 08, 2015, 11:53:49 PM
Either close the underpass, make it pedestrian only, or fill it up and make it a level grade crossing like Duke St.

It's not a matter of more signage or higher fines; the drivers aren't ramming the bridge on purpose, they're just clueless about how tall their vehicle is.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: mrsman on August 09, 2015, 06:55:04 AM
Either close the underpass, make it pedestrian only, or fill it up and make it a level grade crossing like Duke St.

It's not a matter of more signage or higher fines; the drivers aren't ramming the bridge on purpose, they're just clueless about how tall their vehicle is.

Yes, that's the point.  The drivers here don't realize how tall their vehicle is, so they hit the bridge.

Although before closing the bridge completely, I believe that it may be worthwhile to make it passenger cars only with a signed truck bypass on another street to see if that significantly reduces the crashes.  If it doesn't then one of your suggestions should take place.

Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: WashuOtaku on August 09, 2015, 07:19:06 AM
Either close the underpass, make it pedestrian only, or fill it up and make it a level grade crossing like Duke St.

It's not a matter of more signage or higher fines; the drivers aren't ramming the bridge on purpose, they're just clueless about how tall their vehicle is.

Yes, that's the point.  The drivers here don't realize how tall their vehicle is, so they hit the bridge.

Although before closing the bridge completely, I believe that it may be worthwhile to make it passenger cars only with a signed truck bypass on another street to see if that significantly reduces the crashes.  If it doesn't then one of your suggestions should take place.

I was at that underpass last week and I noticed while driving through Durham that there are several low bridges in the city, yet this one location gets the most attention.  One block over a road crosses at-grade with the train tracks, the only issue I see with the street is the fact its one-way, but still can avoid the underpass because a street crosses in front allowing trucks to avoid it at the last possible second before impact.  Also, I did see truck route signs in area, so they do exist. 

The reality is that the truck drivers hitting the bridge either to ignorant of their height (i.e. they drive rental box cars typically) or they not paying attention.

I also took pictures, I'll post if you want to see.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: kkt on August 09, 2015, 11:23:02 AM
Last time I rented a truck, the height of the truck was posted in pretty big numbers on the inside of the cab on the A pillar, and I was given a verbal warning to check bridge heights, take-out window heights, etc., against it.  Do truck rental agencies in Durham do that?
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2015, 11:32:20 AM
Last time I rented a truck, the height of the truck was posted in pretty big numbers on the inside of the cab on the A pillar, and I was given a verbal warning to check bridge heights, take-out window heights, etc., against it.  Do truck rental agencies in Durham do that?


The last truck I rented also had it printed on the side of the vehicle so you'd see it when you looked in the mirrors (outside mirrors only on that truck).
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: mcdonaat on August 10, 2015, 12:10:20 AM
What about sending trucks along Business 70 to Buchanan Street? It's an at-grade crossing, and looks to be a little quicker too...

Signage would be much cheaper than filling in a tunnel, fixing drainage, replacing a crossing, and having to shut down major intersections as well.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Sykotyk on August 16, 2015, 11:08:25 PM
What about sending trucks along Business 70 to Buchanan Street? It's an at-grade crossing, and looks to be a little quicker too...

Signage would be much cheaper than filling in a tunnel, fixing drainage, replacing a crossing, and having to shut down major intersections as well.

Because if they didn't read the height sign, I doubt they'll read the 'no trucks' sign.

The problem isn't 'big trucks', it's little trucks, RVs, and rental/moving trucks. The rental/moving trucks and the smaller delivery box trucks seem to hit with the most frequency. The bigger, taller 13'6 trucks already know not to go into that area. And local trucks probably know. it's the non-locals that get screwed up, especially those who aren't used to driving tall trucks. You can tell them 'check your height', but when they've gone 5, 10, 15 years driving without doing it, telling them once won't make them do it.

Suddenly make one street in one town drive on the left (with adequate signage in advance) and see how many times drivers drive on the right. Similar situation.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: D-Dey65 on February 16, 2016, 01:39:18 AM
Sometimes I wonder if some idiots try to drive their trucks under that bridge just so they can get on another viral video.

 :rolleyes:

Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: freebrickproductions on February 16, 2016, 02:25:25 PM
I saw on Facebook that they are putting up some traffic lights at the intersection next to the bridge.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Jardine on February 16, 2016, 04:21:26 PM
I note several posts in this thread seem to greatly overestimate the intelligence of the average driver, and also fail to address that 1/2 of all drivers are less intelligent than the average.

 :-D
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: rickmastfan67 on February 16, 2016, 05:21:35 PM
I saw on Facebook that they are putting up some traffic lights at the intersection next to the bridge.

Got a link?
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Big John on February 16, 2016, 05:31:37 PM
I note several posts in this thread seem to greatly overestimate the intelligence of the average driver, and also fail to address that 1/2 of all drivers are less intelligent than the average.

 :-D
Are they assuming this is in Lake Wobegon?

(Where everybody is above average)
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 16, 2016, 06:30:28 PM
I note several posts in this thread seem to greatly overestimate the intelligence of the average driver, and also fail to address that 1/2 of all drivers are less intelligent than the average.

 :-D

This axiom always bugs me because it's not correct. 50% of all drivers are below the median, not mean, intelligence. For instance, if there is a universe of 10 drivers, and one of them has an IQ of 150 (genius) and the other 9 have IQs of 90 (normal), then the average is  96, and thus 90% of the population is below average.

It is true in a universe where you have a Gaussian (normal) distribution, the mean will be the same as the median, but that's never a forgone conclusion...
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: cl94 on February 16, 2016, 06:38:43 PM
I note several posts in this thread seem to greatly overestimate the intelligence of the average driver, and also fail to address that 1/2 of all drivers are less intelligent than the average.

 :-D

This axiom always bugs me because it's not correct. 50% of all drivers are below the median, not mean, intelligence. For instance, if there is a universe of 10 drivers, and one of them has an IQ of 150 (genius) and the other 9 have IQs of 90 (normal), then the average is  96, and thus 90% of the population is below average.

It is true in a universe where you have a Gaussian (normal) distribution, the mean will be the same as the median, but that's never a forgone conclusion...

With the sample size we have and the fact that the IQ scale is designed specifically to have a normal distribution, the population median does equal the population mean, with an SD of around 15. We can assume a normal distribution. Assuming that everyone is able to drive regardless of IQ, the average driver would have IQ = mean = median = 100, thus 50% of the population (and thus drivers) would be less intelligent than average.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Jardine on February 16, 2016, 07:43:36 PM
I was channeling George Carlin.    :-D

(https://sp.yimg.com/xj/th?id=OIP.M915b8ea98e7c0f33c143c50345427381H2&pid=15.1&P=0&w=300&h=300)

Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 16, 2016, 07:56:35 PM
Perhaps a Pennsylvania-style mandatory truck pull-off with instructions is in order.

But there's no effective deterrent short of something else the trucks can't physically make it under.  Red lights are a really good way of getting people to know to stop, but plenty of idiots don't.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: cl94 on February 16, 2016, 07:57:57 PM
Perhaps a Pennsylvania-style mandatory truck pull-off with instructions is in order.

I've seen both PA and NY do that. Really nice if you're that car stuck behind a slow truck.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: kkt on February 16, 2016, 08:44:03 PM
Perhaps a Pennsylvania-style mandatory truck pull-off with instructions is in order.
I've seen both PA and NY do that. Really nice if you're that car stuck behind a slow truck.

Could be worse... could be in that car behind a high truck that gets its top peeled off and dropped on top of your car.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 16, 2016, 11:44:24 PM
I note several posts in this thread seem to greatly overestimate the intelligence of the average driver, and also fail to address that 1/2 of all drivers are less intelligent than the average.

 :-D

This axiom always bugs me because it's not correct. 50% of all drivers are below the median, not mean, intelligence. For instance, if there is a universe of 10 drivers, and one of them has an IQ of 150 (genius) and the other 9 have IQs of 90 (normal), then the average is  96, and thus 90% of the population is below average.

It is true in a universe where you have a Gaussian (normal) distribution, the mean will be the same as the median, but that's never a forgone conclusion...

With the sample size we have and the fact that the IQ scale is designed specifically to have a normal distribution, the population median does equal the population mean, with an SD of around 15. We can assume a normal distribution. Assuming that everyone is able to drive regardless of IQ, the average driver would have IQ = mean = median = 100, thus 50% of the population (and thus drivers) would be less intelligent than average.

I would argue that North Carolinians tend to hug the left end of that bell curve as a rule, but that's neither here nor there...
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Jardine on February 17, 2016, 10:03:28 AM
Perhaps a sensor on the front edge of the bridge could be wired up to release some big scary spiky eviscerating wall of death device on the opposite side of the bridge ?

Impale a few careless drivers, and the rest of the herd might take notice.

It would make for some cool videos too, as the top of the truck peels off, the wall of death swings down from the far side of the overpass and impales everyone in the cab of the truck.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: wdcrft63 on February 17, 2016, 06:35:21 PM
For newcomers to the thread, here is the bridge:
https://goo.gl/maps/bhZJqUvGRGo
Title: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 17, 2016, 09:08:07 PM
Why do we throw good ideas away?  Just rig up something like this:

(http://mdah.state.ms.us/senseofplace/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Stop-Death-Stop-railroad-crossing-in-Grenada-from-unprocessed-collection-of-Sidney-T.-Roebuck-Highway-Commissioner-of-the-Central-District-MDAH.jpg)
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: noelbotevera on February 17, 2016, 09:44:22 PM
I love bringing this video up.



Just rig that up.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: DeaconG on February 18, 2016, 04:35:37 PM
Why do we throw good ideas away?  Just rig up something like this:

(http://mdah.state.ms.us/senseofplace/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Stop-Death-Stop-railroad-crossing-in-Grenada-from-unprocessed-collection-of-Sidney-T.-Roebuck-Highway-Commissioner-of-the-Central-District-MDAH.jpg)

Just add a rollup door that drops down when the detector's triggered and it's ON!
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: D-Dey65 on February 20, 2016, 10:37:23 AM
Why do we throw good ideas away?  Just rig up something like this:

(http://mdah.state.ms.us/senseofplace/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Stop-Death-Stop-railroad-crossing-in-Grenada-from-unprocessed-collection-of-Sidney-T.-Roebuck-Highway-Commissioner-of-the-Central-District-MDAH.jpg)
Where was that?  :cool:



Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 20, 2016, 03:21:55 PM

Why do we throw good ideas away?  Just rig up something like this:

(http://mdah.state.ms.us/senseofplace/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Stop-Death-Stop-railroad-crossing-in-Grenada-from-unprocessed-collection-of-Sidney-T.-Roebuck-Highway-Commissioner-of-the-Central-District-MDAH.jpg)
Where was that?  :cool:

Mississippi.  Discussed extensively here:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=12196.0
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: cl94 on February 20, 2016, 04:50:16 PM
Or they could install a couple of these (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6288306,-73.8667797,3a,40.8y,93.23h,86.05t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sEnW8iAGBVed6BUxdNFZ8DA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). All outlined in red and flashing. Arrows alternate flashing.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 20, 2016, 07:33:00 PM
We do have overheight sensors here.  You I have never actually seen them function and they look like they have not worked in decades, but the concept has been attempted.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: D-Dey65 on February 20, 2016, 07:59:05 PM
Mississippi.  Discussed extensively here:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=12196.0
Wow. All these discussions I end up missing.

Oh, that looks like Button Copy too.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: wdcrft63 on April 18, 2016, 06:19:37 PM
NCDOT has a project to try to stop the crashes at Durham's famous Gregson Street truck-eating underpass. The idea is a laser that will detect the approach of an over-height truck and turn the stoplight red until the truck turns away from the bridge. We'll see if it works! The same project is happening at another (but much less famous) underpass in Durham.
http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/durham-wants-to-keep-trucks-from-crashing-into-the-can-opener-bridge/Content?oid=5017954&utm_content=buffer29554&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: wdcrft63 on May 12, 2016, 06:54:10 PM
The new system for stopping trucks before they hit the bridge is installed:
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article77046307.html
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: D-Dey65 on October 24, 2017, 10:22:59 PM
Thankfully, Post Avenue in Westbury has little chance of reaching the level of Gregson Street's collision record.

http://www.mta.info/news/2017/10/23/westbury%E2%80%99s-post-avenue-bridge-replaced-ahead-schedule

Sometimes though, I wonder if all the money being spent of elaborate crash prevention measures could be better spent on replacing the Gregson Street bridge itself.



Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: freebrickproductions on October 24, 2017, 10:31:36 PM
Sometimes though, I wonder if all the money being spent of elaborate crash prevention measures could be better spent on replacing the Gregson Street bridge itself.
Depending on how busy the line is, and how far out of the way the railroad would have to reroute the trains, the railroad may be a major obstacle in replacing said bridge.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: 1995hoo on October 31, 2017, 01:07:07 PM
The new system for stopping trucks before they hit the bridge is installed:
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article77046307.html

Here's the new system in action earlier this month (first video) and last month (second video).


Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: wdcrft63 on October 31, 2017, 05:28:59 PM
Sometimes though, I wonder if all the money being spent of elaborate crash prevention measures could be better spent on replacing the Gregson Street bridge itself.
Depending on how busy the line is, and how far out of the way the railroad would have to reroute the trains, the railroad may be a major obstacle in replacing said bridge.
The railroad is in a downtown area close to the Amtrak station, so nothing can be done to adjust the level of the tracks. The only way to replace the bridge with one that has better clearance would be to lower the street level, and that would be enormously expensive.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: kkt on October 31, 2017, 06:36:40 PM
I understand the street has main pipes (sewer or water?) under the pavement, so there's little room for lowering the road and relocating the pipes would be hugely expensive.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: NJRoadfan on October 31, 2017, 09:01:27 PM
In both those videos, the truck blatantly blew thru a red light. They should be lucky they only hit the bridge!
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: orulz on October 31, 2017, 10:21:40 PM
They are actually planning to build a new grade separation at Mangum and Blackwell, and raise the bridge at Roxboro, some time within the next 10 years. While they're at it, they should raise the bridges at Chapel Hill and Gregson, and build a grade separation for Duke as well. They would have to rebuild the Amtrak platform. This would approximately double the scope of the project but it would (IMO) more than double the benefits.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on October 31, 2017, 11:04:02 PM
I would like to know the official labelled height of that Penske truck.  I rented on when I moved from San Diego to NC and all the drivers manuals and labels on the actual truck stated the need for 11'-1".    The truck should have easily made under an 11'-8" clearance overpass.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 02, 2017, 04:38:14 PM
The bridge was in action again this morning. This truck was absolutely mangled.

Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: kkt on November 02, 2017, 05:43:43 PM
And that one looks like they were pro drivers, not amateurs driving a rental van.
Hope nobody lost irreplaceable items in the truck.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: cl94 on November 03, 2017, 01:00:44 PM
In both those videos, the truck blatantly blew thru a red light. They should be lucky they only hit the bridge!

The light in front of the bridge is rigged to turn red when an overheight truck approaches in order to reduce accidents and was actually installed for that purpose. Of course, some of the drivers just gun it and hit the bridge going even faster.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: epzik8 on November 03, 2017, 03:34:08 PM
Is this the 11 Foot 8 Bridge? That's a crazy one.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: freebrickproductions on November 04, 2017, 02:48:05 AM
And that one looks like they were pro drivers, not amateurs driving a rental van.
Hope nobody lost irreplaceable items in the truck.

Looks like the truck may have been empty.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: ilpt4u on November 04, 2017, 09:27:43 PM
I'm going to make a dumb suggestion...

Why not sign the Underpass for a lower height? Give a little room for error?

Sign it for 11 Feet flat

Not saying that will stop these incidents, but error on the side of caution!

Who knows, maybe it already is signed on the side of caution...
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: freebrickproductions on November 04, 2017, 10:24:54 PM
Maybe they should just close the road under the bridge permanently, and funnel the traffic elsewhere.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on November 05, 2017, 12:12:32 AM
Maybe they should just close the road under the bridge permanently, and funnel the traffic elsewhere.

What, and ruin the fun I'm having watching overheight vehicles get wrecked? Get outta here. :biggrin:
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: freebrickproductions on November 05, 2017, 01:04:31 AM
Maybe they should just close the road under the bridge permanently, and funnel the traffic elsewhere.

What, and ruin the fun I'm having watching overheight vehicles get wrecked? Get outta here. :biggrin:
I agree that watching karma in action is fun, but from a safety standpoint, if a rather low bridge with a history of trucks hitting it can't be raised or the road under it lowered, then the road underneath should probably be closed.

Or, alternatively, they could have one of these gates (http://www.rxrsignals.com/Alabama/Troy/US231/) set-up to lower automatically as soon as it detects a truck that's too tall... Company that made them claimed the gates could stop a truck moving at 40 MPH, and I can't imagine traffic going much faster than that on this road...
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 05, 2017, 08:52:43 AM
I read somewhere that the state DOT, which is responsible for the road, decided that since there have been no deaths and fewer than five injuries, they would concentrate on more important priorities (including an 11'4" overpass elsewhere in Durham under which trucks get stuck, though without the same violence associated with the Gregson Street overpass).
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Brian556 on November 05, 2017, 09:52:29 AM
The bridge was in action again this morning. This truck was absolutely mangled.


Based on the video, the system is not working right. The truck entered the intersection on a yellow light. Based on what I've read on here, the light is supposed to turn red before the overheight truck reaches it.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: kkt on November 05, 2017, 11:25:56 AM
The bridge was in action again this morning. This truck was absolutely mangled.


Based on the video, the system is not working right. The truck entered the intersection on a yellow light. Based on what I've read on here, the light is supposed to turn red before the overheight truck reaches it.

Yes, it looked that way to me too.  The trucks are probably coming too fast to measure their height.  Perhaps the light at the nearest intersection should generally be red and permit one vehicle at a time to pass after its height has been measured.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 05, 2017, 11:52:39 AM
I wonder if there ought to be another height-triggered light at the intersection before that one (Main Street) in order to reduce the frequency of trucks speeding through the light at Peabody and slamming into the bridge. It wouldn't necessarily be as simple as I just made it sound because Main is a much busier street than Peabody is, making it more difficult to have a light changing at seemingly random times, but if you had two consecutive height-triggered lights, you'd probably reduce the severity of truck crashes even if they weren't eliminated completely because I assume it would be less likely for a truck to blast through consecutive red lights. (A comparison point familiar to me is the 10'0" railroad bridge on the Corner near UVA in Charlottesville—while occasionally trucks get stuck under it despite warnings that include a loud bell, the crashes are far less violent because University Avenue is a much slower-speed roadway than Gregson Street due to the nature of the area.)

BTW, as I was typing this I pulled up both Apple Maps and Google Maps to refresh my recollection on the street pattern around there, and I notice both of them list "11foot8 Bridge" as a landmark.
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: D-Dey65 on November 08, 2017, 09:39:46 PM
And that one looks like they were pro drivers, not amateurs driving a rental van.
Hope nobody lost irreplaceable items in the truck.
I'm still convinced some of these people do it on purpose so they can get on YouTube.  The keyword in that sentence being "some."

 :meh: :wave: < "Hey look, Ma! I'm on a viral video for crashing my 13'6" truck into that 11'8" bridge, and I lived to brag about it and make an ass of myself."  :pan:

 
Title: Re: North Carolina's Famed Truck-Scalping Bridge Nears 100 Recorded Crashes
Post by: Sykotyk on November 29, 2017, 06:52:36 PM
And that one looks like they were pro drivers, not amateurs driving a rental van.
Hope nobody lost irreplaceable items in the truck.
I'm still convinced some of these people do it on purpose so they can get on YouTube.  The keyword in that sentence being "some."

 :meh: :wave: < "Hey look, Ma! I'm on a viral video for crashing my 13'6" truck into that 11'8" bridge, and I lived to brag about it and make an ass of myself."  :pan:

 

If you've ever rented a rental truck, they stipulate, quite clearly, that there is no insurance coverage for topping the vehicle on trees, power lines, bridges, drive thrus, etc.

And your personal auto insurance generally won't cover it, either. So, you'd be on the hook for the few thousand dollars minimum to put a new box on it for those trucks.


The problem is they're using regular red/green lights to activate and then the lit sign advising to turn. I think what NEEDS to be done is that several trip sensors across the road for any vehicle at 11' or more triggers bright flashing red lights (think major train crossings) and bright reverse lit message board advising OVERHEIGHT TRUCK -- STOP where the words are negative space and everything else is lit up

And aside from all that, the biggest needs to be an educational campaign among anyone who operates in the area (they have 125 company names just from this) to advise people they can't take overheight trucks on this road because they won't fit. Anyone renting a moving truck should be told explicitly not to even take the vehicle on this road.