Ryder truck 2/13/09

Why is the bridge so low?

This train trestle is about 70 years old. At the time when it was built, there were no standards for minimum clearance..

How often do trucks crash into the bridge?

Between 2008 and 2019, on average, a truck got visibly damaged a little more than once a month at the bridge (150 crashes in 140 months). However, every day I see trucks that trip the overheight warning lights, stop and turn into the side street. So the vast majority of drivers heed the warnings.

Why don’t they fix it?

Depends on who “they” are and on what “fix” means.

  • 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.
    UPDATE: On Oct 29, 2019, the bridge was raised by 8 inches to match the grade of the Duke St. level crossing. This change improves the overall grade of the track and may improve traffic safety due to the additional clearance over the road. The engineers at the site explained that raising the grade any further is not feasible, because that would introduce a ” hump” at the Duke St. level crossing, which would introduce a risk of vehicles with low road clearance bottoming out at that crossing.
  • The city of Durham has installed “low clearance” signs on each of the 3 blocks leading up to the trestle (Gregson is a one-way road). There is a sensor that triggers an LED blackout warning sign when In overheight vehicle approaches the trestle (more info below). Several blocks ahead of the trestle the speed limit is 25 MPH. The folks from the city planning department said that they made an effort to prevent accidents.
  • 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.
MUTCD W12 low clearance sign

Is the clearance signage accurate?

The clearance signage displays  a maximum safe clearance – and yes, in that sense it is accurate. The actual clearance of the crash beam right in front of the trestle is 11 feet 10.8 inches, which gives it a 2.8 inch safety margin. The MUTCD allows for a maximum of 3 inches difference between the signage and the actual clearance.

UPDATE: As of Nov. 2019, the signage has been updated to indicate the new clearance of 12 feet and 4 inches (3.76 meters).

Metric, please!

Would this situation be better if the signage were metric? Well … take a look at his website: 2m40.com (Warning: French. Metric)

For the convenience of our metric-only audience, here are the measurements we’re talking about in Meters:

  • 11foot8 (11 feet 8 inches) = 3.556 meters
  • 11 feet 10.8 inches = 3.627 meters
  • Safety margin: 7.1 cm (at the crest of the road)
  • NEW 12 feet 4 inches = 3.76 meters

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 railroad bridges in Durham. And NS would have to shut down this busy track for months. I don’t think they are interested in that idea.

UPDATE Nov. 2019: The bridge has been raised by 8 inches!

The NC Railroad Company in October 2019 raised the bridge by 8 inches to the grade of the Duke St. crossing. As it turned out, there was an 8 inch grade difference between the Duke St crossing and the Gregson St. bridge, so they were able to lift the bridge and level the grade. Check out the video.

This also confirms that the railroad company can’t raise the bridge enough to eliminate the problem, which would be a height that would allow a 13’6″ (4.11 meters) vehicle to pass under it, so at least another 15 – 16 inches (40 cm) above the grade of the Duke St. crossing.

Is the signage adequate?

The signage is good, and the vast majority of truck drivers notice the problem and avoid the bridge. Large signs alert driver to the low clearance several blocks before the bridge. Half a block before the trestle, a sensor detects overheight vehicles and triggers an LED blackout warning sign that was installed in May 2016. That same sensor also triggers a red-light phase at the traffic light directly in front of the trestle (installed in March 2016), so the driver has 50 seconds to read the warning sign next to the red traffic light and consider their next move.

Should there be more signage?

It’s hard to see how more “low-clearance” signs will significantly improve the situation.

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.

Are the drivers stupid?

No idea. They certainly seem distracted and the rental truck drivers are also probably inexperienced.

Will insurance cover the damages?

Most truck rental insurance policies specifically exclude overhead damage from coverage. However, a good auto insurance or liability insurance might pick up the tab. Check with your agent. Or even better – don’t hit the bridge!

What is the location of the 11foot8 bridge?

201 Gregson St in Durham, NC (intersection with Peabody St) Link to Google maps

Any other questions?

If you have any truck-crash-related questions that are not covered here, post them below.


  1. I see some of the crashes were captured from many angles. How many cameras are trained on this bridge? Are they all yours?

  2. I have a few questions:

    1. What happens to most of the trucks after they get damaged?

    2. Has anyone every been seriously injured after once of these collisions?

    3. Is it wrong that I laugh a little when I watch your vids? (I mean from what I can tell the signeage is kind of hard to miss.)

  3. Has anything ever hit it before whilst a train was going over the top??

  4. There should be a speed camera there in addition to the height meter, and if a tall truck doesnt seem to be about to turn into Peabody St. according to its speed, the bridge should emit a LOUD, directed sound saying YOU ARE ABOUT TO HIT THAT BRIDGE.

  5. You can’t raise the bridge, you can’t lower the street, can’t you close the street??? To me the city is been VERY irresponsible.

    • How is it irresponsible? There are warning signs, flashing lights, everything is there to tell people if they are going to hit. If/when they hit, it is their fault. Not the city’s. Not the railroad company’s. It is the driver’s fault. Why should the road be closed? Because a few times a year, some ignorant person damages their vehicle?

      People should be responsible for their own actions. The government should not be responsible for us.

      • Goldmarble said: “The government should not be responsible for us.”
        Lincoln said: “A government of the people, by the people, for the people”

        By definition, the government is responsible for us.

        Most truck boxes are about 9’2″ tall empty. USDOT Reg.
        A ‘normal’ load will reduce this further.
        Clearly this bridge is wrongly advertised at 11’8″

        • Groucho Marx said: “He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”
          Richard Simmons said: “It’s not nice to make fun of people with issues.”

          By definition, government trucks may, or may not, fit under this bridge. Don’t listen to advertising – it’s all a lie. Believe in yourself.

        • Actually most box trucks you rent are 12′.
          A lot of U-Haul trucks are 10′, Penske and others are normally 12′

        • most truck boxes are 9’2 from frame maybe semi trucks are 13’4 with a 13’6 height warning so bridge is not marked wrong

        • I work for NCDOT and we check the clearance every 2 years. Last check (December 2016) the clearance was 11′-10″ +change in the center of the roadway. The posted 11′-8″ is sufficient.

      • It is irresponsible because they have known safety issue they are not addressing. Instead they are videotaping it for enjoyment. If this were an OSHA type of situation those responsible for the street and the bridge would be held criminally negligent for not taking action to prevent recurrence. If a bystander walking near that bridge gets injured their court case is made for them and the city and RR will pay them forever!

        It is completely irresponsible to have 134 accidents occur and not correct the issue. The RR and the city have the money and the means to address this. Additionally signs and lights are not the only countermeasures that can be employed in this instance.

        • You have a lot of inaccuracies and misrepresentations in this post. You fail to acknowledge the extreme costs that would be incurred to eliminate this problem. You’re also completely absolving the drivers involved in preventing these problems in the first place. I guess that you’ll next be advocating wrapping all utility poles in bubble wrap to prevent injuries to inattentive drivers.

    • I don’t think so the truck drives are the irresponsible ones. As a Truck driver myself it is my place to know my Vech Clearance not the Gov. this is marked with a flashing light at the least they should stop

    • sonofbaconator

      Honestly puzzled, you should shut your mouth. If you would lose 100 lbs and didn’t spill onto your fellow Americans every time you sat in the middle seat on Delta, that would be more constructive than running your mouth on the internet. There are warning signs everywhere as well as flashing lights. The city has even installed a height sensor in recent years. It’s the driver’s fault. Every. Time. Flat. Out. The city can’t help it if there are idiot drivers with BMIs higher than their IQs driving through 5 warning signs. Individual mandate. All. Day.

    • The bridge is over 100 years old. How is the city responsible? Low clearance bridges are everywhere. This is not the only one that gets hit. Most drivers pay attention to the signage. The one’s that don’t pay attention, well…there you go.

  6. Can you tell me what the numbers on the ground in front of the trestle mean?

  7. I was thinking of some giant rollers, like they use in a bakery for flattening dough. :-/

  8. Cool Sight just seen it on our local news today in Harveys Lake Pa. on WNEP Channel 16 out of Scranton, PA

  9. Amazing Footage, Thanks for posting it. According to one of the news story you are filming from your office? How do you get the second view? Just wondering. DOT should mount a camera on the bridge and share the footage with you to give that head-on view 🙂

  10. Instead of a low clearance bar, I’ve seen low clearance ‘combs’ used. These are a series of dangling chains or cables. Some of them have tennis balls on the end not to damage the vehicles.
    A truck can still drive under these ‘combs’ but the noise of the chains or balls bouncing on the roof certainly serves to alert the driver.

  11. I read about this website on CNN.

    As soon as the videos started playing, I immediately remembered the
    Megabus crash in New Jersey a couple of years ago. The bus was 13 feet
    in height. Four passengers died. 🙁

    Does Megabus(or any tour bus company) come through this can opener bridge
    in North Carolina?

    Many years ago, I saw a low bridge in Japan. The local government installed
    two or three warning poles with hundreds of cow bells. They were place 1,
    2, and 3 blocks ahead of the low bridge. Any truck or bus heading towards
    the low bridge would hear the top of the vehicles hitting the bells. The
    noise was incredible loud and it was nearly impossible for the driver to miss

    Why can’t the state of North Carolina or the railroad company install something
    like that?

    • Please read the FAQ. Sorry to hear about the fatal accident. So far no one has been seriously hurt (AFAIK) at the 11foot8 bridge. Megabus stays away from it.

  12. Just came here after seeing site on “Caught on Camera”. Good job!
    The drivers clearly are stupid.
    Jurgen’s diplomatic enough to not come right out and say it. I’m not.
    Given the clarity of the signage and the fact that most drivers turn on Peabody St. backs this up.
    You can only go so far to protect people from themselves.

    Are your cameras rolling 24/7? Or is something triggering them?

  13. A couple of times when renting trucks, I’ve noted that overhead damage mot covered by insurance, even the additional no deductible option. There was nothing on or in the vehicle to indicate the height and when I asked, they couldn’t tell me how high it was. Asked them how I was to avoid overhead obstructions, which usually have clearance required signs, when they couldn’t tell me the height. Once place pondered it a bit. The other told me I should know the height of their truck. At another place, their truck had big label on the dash with and bright red hatched border and the minimum clearance required printed on it.

  14. I think the reason there are so many accidents is so many truck drivers think they can fit under the bridge, and they’re almost right about it. I grew up near a 9 ft 9 in rail bridge, and a truck would get stuck there maybe once every few years. Raise the elevation of the road by 12-18 inches and fewer trucks will try to make it through.

  15. I see that warning lights are required to be yellow, but why not make them red and reclassify them as flashing red signal as if it were a four way stop? This way if a vehicle trips the over height warning they, and all other traffic with them, are required to come to a complete stop before proceeding through the intersection. After all, it looks as if some of these trucks go through there so fast that they don’t even realize there’s a street to turn on to!

  16. It seems that if this does create a safety hazard for pedestrians and other drivers there _are_ two things the city can do to mitigate the risk:

    1) Make the intersection of Gregory and Peabody a 3-way stop.
    2) Hang a low-clearance bar on the _far_ side of the intersection (the side closest to the overpass).

    By making it the intersection a full stop you ensure that trucks will still be moving slowly when they hit the low clearance warning bar on the far side of the intersection.

    There is about 20 feet between the intersection and the crash bar. This may be enough time to stop. Or, if not enough time to stop, at least enough time to slow down to _almost_ a stop, providing an enormous reduction in the damage — and thereby reduce the risk to other drivers and pedestrians.

    Understood that the stop sign would be an inconvenience to the thousands of drivers who pass through there without hitting the bridge. But isn’t municipal government all about risk reduction?

    • Eddie Shagnasty

      Insurance company’s can help you with this concept. They work with actuarial risks. At some point, there is a concept of diminishing returns when spending the taxpayer money to make things less “risky” – for trucks or pedestrians. What about the intersection 4 miles away in which 6 drives have been killed in the last 10 years? What can be done about *that* – first?

      As far as providing any “enormous reduction in the damage” – damage to what? It would appear that the rail bridge is making out just fine, thank you very much. Any damage done to the trucks is eventually repaired or replaced with a new truck – thus helping the North Carolina economy at some level.

      > But isn’t municipal government all about risk reduction?
      Emphatically NO. Government’s primary responsibility is to GOVERN and provide order. Let’s all find some more productive battle in which to don our armor and tilt against windmills. Plus, it’s just damned entertaining.

  17. ChickenUnderwear

    Every now and then I have to rent a big truck. Last summer I had a job at Yankee Stadium which is surrounded by elevated subways with low bridges.

    I wish I could have found something for my GPS that would have told me a route around them. I did not hit any bridges but I had to make a few u-turns.

  18. Here’s a more elaborate solution used in Sydney, Australia:


  19. The solution would be a stop light that turns red for all overheight trucks and a train style bell and arm that comes dow saying “LOOK AGAIN STUPID, YOU ARE TOO TALL TO MAKE IT AND YOU WILL GET A $5000 FINE FOR HITTING THIS BRIDGE PAYABLE ON SIGHT, AS IN RIGHT NOW!”

    Something like that might work.

    • I was thinking this, glad I wasn’t alone. Either railroad crossing style lights and arms or paid parking area style arm. I noticed the traffic light and new sign were installed after your comment. If the lights turn red with the sign (only with the sign?), maybe the arms activate and lower until the truck turns to avoid the bridge. Maybe the sign states ALL TRUCKS MUST TURN instead to avoid the ‘is it me’ confusion.

  20. Wonder if they can just make the road itself lower, as in.. make a long slope for that bridge, you don’t have to do anything fancy with stop signs (that won’t work, unless of course the ridiculous water thing happens), the ultimate solution would be to actually make it so that tall vehicles can actually go underneath that silly bridge, who’s idea was it to make a bridge that’s less than 12 feet, jeez that’s ridiculous.

  21. UK Trucker King

    The solution is for people to know how big their vehicle is, and then not just rely solely on Sat Nav but to use commonsense and read the road signs and plane their journy accordingly

  22. Durham local here that works at Brightleaf Square and loves the site.

    I’m curious if your cameras are HD. I’ve noticed the video is decidedly low resolution, even today. Are your cameras SD (thought SD is > the 360px the videos are uploaded at), or is the HD only for folks that license your footage?

    Thanks. More sacrifices to the Gregson St bridge!

  23. Used to have this contraption in Columbus, Texas, that I imagine would create quite a racket and make them stop before hitting the bridge:


    Seeing the damage on the bells, I’d say it got used well.

  24. Considering all the different kinds of signage available now… including the more interesting things being done around the country (and the world)… could something more interactive be employed?

    For example. A two message “digital” sign… it either says in green LED that “Your Height Will Pass” to the appropriate height vehicle that is approaching, or it says in red LED that “Warning! You WILL hit the bridge!” when an over-height vehicle is about to go under.

    Why this two state indicator? People ignore flashing yellow. They assume it isn’t for them. Even the flashing yellow that is tripped by an over-height vehicle still won’t register with some people. They won’t notice that it turned on for them, or they will assume it turned on for someone else… even *if* they acknowledge they noticed it go from an off state to a tripped state.

    So… a sign they can see that is interactive… approving those that can pass, and changing for them. One that is harder to just blow off.

    Then again… some people are just idiots no matter what.

    • Something more interactive because some dont realoze lighys or signs arent for them? I need to try this: sorry officer, I didnt know the red light was for me. I also wasnt aware the road was for me to use, thats why I was driving down the sidewalk.

      Personal responsibility! First thing: ignorance of the law is no excuse. It is the drivers responsibility to know their vehicle: height, weight, stopping distance, number of legal passengers, whether bulbs are out, if tires are flat or even missing. Should the government, as many have said, inspect your vehicle everytime you get in it to drive it? Should government make sure your phone is charged before leaving the house? Should the government make sure youre not speeding? Should governemnt make sure youre not smoking weed or drinking too much while on your couch? When do you get freewill if you want the government to make sure you wiped well enough after pooping?

      Most parking garages: 6’6″. My vehicle, 6’8″. I park at the curb or in a lot. Would it be the governments fault or my fault if I parked in a spot that was too short for my vehicle and I hit the car parked in the next spot? According to some here, it would not be mine…

  25. Great Website. Question for you, I looked at Google street view and I did not see the Warning low-clearance bar ahead of bridge. I think someone should talk to the city and get one set up ahead of the bridge before someone gets killed. I have seen them at fast food drive thru’s before.

    • Read the FAQ’s. There are trucks that service businesses in the area that have to turn just before reaching the bridge. Those trucks would probably all be damaged by your ‘genius’ idea.

  26. What great spot for a coffee shop. You can’t buy entertainment like that. Is there space where bridge is visible?

  27. Jurgen, do you plan to get more t-shirts in?


  28. Hi Jurgen just to say what an excellent Idea there is little that can be done about stupidity and the protection beam on the bridge is as pragmatic a solution as possible, but all I would say is as psychologically drivers are programmed to stop at traffic lights so what I would do is a take the over height signal and use it to trigger a say 30 second delay red traffic stop lamp on the bridge entrance so they would not only have to drive past the warning but also a stop sign which itself is a serious offence if they did stop they would notice the bridge and if turning it would not be a major delay compared with a stuck truck

    the theory is as they are used to stopping at stop lights to the point that experienced drivers do not even notice they are there they just stop anyway it would have to be a traffic light not a warning lamp which is really the point you re trying to influence the “zombie” which is actually driving the truck not the high level person we see inhabited by the “zombie”, this is why we take time to learn to drive we need to teach the zombie who allows us to walk without tripping and climb stairs all of which is automatic, ever considered how you do things without thinking like catch a ball its an odd concept but that’s how we work

    lowering the warning would also help as it would detect more of the close ones crane derricks RV ACU’s

    there is a bridge at cairnryan regularly hit pointlessly
    cheers dotty winterburn on facebook

  29. What was the most expensive damage caused from hitting the bridge?
    Boats, RVs, Car carriers etc…

  30. What is the fastest speed that somebody has hit the bridge?

  31. As a former truck driver, I have little sympathy for the foolish drivers who slam into the bridge. I recall several times when we approached a bridge the was marked incorrectly and we had to stop to check. All truckers should know their vehicle height and check the route to make sure there are no low overpasses. We had a map that told us the height of any bridges that were lower than standard. My rig was 13′ 6″ and one nasty night in November during a rainstorm we were on a mountain road north of Pittsburgh when we came up on a iron girder bridge that was marked as 14’3″. We stopped and checked and sure enough it wasn’t 14’3″ it was actually 13’3″! We couldn’t back up because the road was dark, narrow and very crooked. I drove as a two man team so we got out and lowered the air in our tires and in our air suspension. We managed to get barely enough clearance. I rode standing on the passenger side window sill with a super bright flash light and watched to make sure nothing was hanging low on the bridge as we crossed. We rode right down the middle of the road after first walking cross the bridge an putting out flares. Fortunately it was a lonely road and no traffic came the whole time. We did clear the span without any damage. On the other side we inflated the tires and suspension.

  32. If the bridge were to be raised, it should not require raising several miles of railroad. Railroads generally try to keep grades to less than about 1.5 percent, and steeper grades can be handled for short distances. Until recently, the steepest mainline railroad grade in the United States was a little over 4 percent. Assuming the grade is kept to 1 percent, it would require only 100 feet in each direction to raise the bridge 1 foot. Raising the bridge 5 feet to meet minimum highway standards, which would also allow an extra 8 inches for additional layers of pavement, would require only 500 feet of roadbed in each direction to be raised. If there are other bridges within that 500 feet, they might have to be altered, but only those within the 500 feet. I’m not saying the bridge should be raised, but it should not require changes to miles of track if it is done.

    • The Way i see it, with all the warnings, these drivers are at fault, any who have lost their jobs due to a lack of respect for common sense, didn’t need to be driving in the first place, hahaha. on a side not those in the r.v.’s, well i guess, unless they drive them everywhere, they probably just were not thinking that they were in a taller vehicle, does not excuse their stupidity, but it can be more understandable, the truck drivers how ever should defiantly know better, seeing as how they have to have a license that explicitly means they have to know a separate set of road rules, one of which is “Hey buddy if you are driving in a truck so high and a bridge is so low…Do Not Attempt!” to paraphrase

  33. Thank you so very much! I really enjoy your postings. I want to share another bridge making the news after their sixteenth decapitation this year. You really have to look closely to see the itty bitty sign they use to warn that THIS BIRDGE HAS ONLE TEN FOOT EIGHT INCH CLEARANCE,

  34. The footages are interesting, and sometimes funny. 😛

    You can broadcast a livestream from the camera`s?
    I think there are quite a few people want to follow the crashes live. 😉

  35. The City/NCDOT/NS should install a traffic light at this intersection that turns red for oncoming vehicles that are too tall. Similarly, a “No Right/Left Turn” light should illuminate if a truck approaching from the side street reaches the intersection to prevent the turn into the bridge, if it is too tall. That wouldn’t be too costly and would be very effective as trucks that are too tall will more likely stop for a red light than flashing yellow lights on the overhead sign.

  36. To increase the vertical clearance, the state would have to build a new bridge next to the existing bridge, then build a few hundred feet of roadbed and railroad track to each side to get to the level of the existing track, then a few more hundred feet of roadbed and track to merge with the existing track without a noticeable S-curve. Trains would continue to run on schedule. Over a weekend the new track would be connected to the rest of the railroad and thereafter the old bridge would be taken down.

    Traffic signals that turned red upon approach of an overheight vehicle would cost a lot less.

    If high speed is a problem then rumble strips could be installed in the pavement to help slow down traffic prior to reaching the traffic signal.

  37. Why don’t they just lower the roadway and sewers? Is that a dumb question from a non-engineer?
    It just seems to me the Railroad and City could come up with something other than a trash bar!

    Just my 2¢

  38. You should include information about your sister bridge in Raleigh on Peace St between West and Glenwood. It’s nominally 8″ higher, but there’s a pretty steep hill just on the other side that often makes long trailers wedge up into it. It’s awesome.

    Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/@35.7886622,-78.6456169,3a,75y,291.94h,78.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKXWzTTaUZPXFAVFP-7Gqvg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

    Example: http://abc11.com/traffic/another-truck-gets-wedged-under-bridge/990509/

  39. Solution is fairly simple: city already has height detection in place, add a LED board that changes between yellow SLOW sign to red DO NOT ENTER depending on the incoming vehicle height. This is probably viewed as some kind of local entertainment, but one day one of your kids will get killed by the debris from crashed truck. I see there is a pedestrian sidewalk. If city could do more to protect pedestrians, it deserves to be taken to court when someone gets hurt and there is more money to be gained from suing negligent city than negligent driver.

  40. I’m a video geek, so my questions are all about your setup.
    1: I assume the cameras record to a computer hard drive… how often do the hard drives have to be purged to make more space and how many TB are you typically having to deal with?
    2: What program are you using to capture the footage – especially for the Wi-Fi cam (or is it close enough to your router to be on the same local network)?
    3: How do you know when an accident has occurred, and how to you efficiently search through the all that footage for it?

  41. Just saw this interesting solution to problems like this:


  42. Why don’t they just dig the road lower to avoid the crashes?? There is a bridge in Manitoba, Canada that had the same problem and the dug down to fix it. The city could also put a low hanging horizontal pipe at 11′ 8″ before the bridge so they hit those first… But then we would not have these great videos!

  43. What about hanging some chains from the new overhead pole the new sign is on, just before the crash beam? – https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4021/5169788088_ba76bc93f8_b.jpg

    And then maybe a speed bump just before the intersection to slow people down a little. Those would both be cheap and not really cause anyone else harm.

  44. Do you have statistics anywhere? How many trucks hit the bridge on, say, a monthly basis?

    I’m interested in whether the different warning approaches made any difference at all.

  45. “Overhight, must turn” doesn’t immediately alarm me, since English is not my first language. A sign saying STOP!!! would alert more people. And what about an audible warning signal? Doesn’t cost a fortune, but would help a bit probably.
    Interesting to find out how many of the drivers are not american. For me (European) the signs are not familiar, so I could imagine this could also be a factor in these accidents.

    • Playing devil’s advocate for a minute: a stop sign would make everyone stop, not just trucks. And then they’d all be looking at each trying to figure out why, give up, and just drive through anyway. Never under-estimate the stupidity of people

  46. I found the 11Foot8 clips on You Tube among many other of bad driving.

    It’s interesting to know the history of this bridge, especially why the clearance can’t be increased by easy means.

    Have you tried making a list of other low bridges which have similar troubles with being hit?

    There is one near me which gets hit occasionally.

  47. What’s the height of a city bus? Maybe lower the steel beam so that it’s high enough for a bus to get under, but “obviously” too low for a truck. Not that it wouldn’t stop people trying to drive under it, but comparing crashes #118 and #119 its apparent that some trucks barely get under it and some fail miserably. If you made it more apparent that everyone would fail … ?

  48. What video camera and microphone do you use? The clarity is amazing!

  49. Wish you had a camera on the other side to catch the look on their faces when they hit.

  50. Can you create an videocam here and also send out alerts whenever an overheight truck stops at the light?

  51. I drive a truck. I have not yet been to Durham, NC. But when and if that day comes, what street is best to take other than Gregson? Asking for a friend.

  52. I’d love to see a third view of the driver’s face as they hit. Are there any plans to place a camera on the other side of the bridge, capturing the surprise on their faces?

  53. I could watch this action all day. It’s like the Coliseum – I love it! Juan en muy guapo!

  54. Hi! New here but I have been sitting and smiling over all the short films on Youtube. As an European I´m not so accustomed with feet and inches, what´s the normal free height of bridges like this one in the US, I mean a normal bridge.

  55. This bridge could use some human-centered design help. The problem isn’t the lack of signage, it’s the overload. The ‘last effort’ sign is so easily ignored, there’s no wonder why people keep ignoring it. If I approached this intersection, I would never read any of the height signs or warnings. The height signs for this bridge look identical to every sign that reads . Here’s how it’s properly done: https://weather.com/science/video/laser-projected-stop-sign-seeks-to-prevent-truck-accidents

  56. Has anyone considered installing a set of boomgates before the bridge?

  57. Hey dude, I really appreciate that you keep a log about these hit-bridge accidents!

    I am a researcher who works at PA and trying to change the bridge maintenance strategy of PennDOT. I am very interested in the hit-bridge problem. I hope to change PennDOT’s workflow to let them fix low under-clearance bridges to avoid such accidents. But records of these cases are hard to collect. As you noticed, many drivers just left after they hit the bridge. So there is no record left.

    I am really looking forward to finding any records about hit-bridge accidents in PA. If you know, please do let me know.

  58. There have been many correct comments on here, but at some point doesn’t someone have to say enough is enough (as far as damages to either the trucks or bridge)? I have no idea if this would work, but has anyone considered raising the ground around the bridge so that the entire intersection is higher. Then the bridge becomes a crossing. Yes this would cost money too, but maybe “taxes” to the right individuals (companies) OR some sort of insurance subsidy could help cover this cost. Yes all of these drivers were stupid for not knowing their truck height AND ignoring the existing warnings. Oh, one more thing, maybe some electronics genius can invent something that goes into all trucks that ALSO sound a LOUD alarm inside the truck when approaching any low pass.
    Don’t we have GPS now? Just a thought.

    • Are you volunteering to pay for this very expensive project? Most high-profile vehicles heed the warnings and turn. Those that don’t pay the price for their ignorance.

  59. Enjoying your site, thanks for the entertainment.
    My husband and I were curious how many of the rental trucks get damaged per year. Wondering if the local agencies specifically warn people away from the area? Hoping you have answers, otherwise he wants to call them direct. Lol

    Keep up the great work and editing.

    PS hoping for a camera placed for drivers reaction.

  60. reinieraarnink

    Hey. Well here in my opinion on how this problem can be solved. I only see three solutions with good potential here.

    – Lower the road somewhere else nearby if the sewers are a problem.
    – Find ways to make the ‘install a low-clearance bar’ practically work.
    – Thirdly, navigation systems. Another thing to prevent these crashes is to embed this in the navigation systems of these trucks and talk to the truck driving companies. This should for instance be reported to Google Maps, Waze, Maps, TomTom. Companies renting trucks could for example make the driver more aware of such situations; they could make the navigation systems make a loud sound when coming nearby such situation. It is a fact that there are not many places like this. There perhaps some places deserve extra attention of the driver, by making a navigation system make loud sounds.

  61. You just got picked up by Canadian state radio, eh?


    They’re claiming that they’ll try to raise the bridge 8″ (20cm) – so do you open 12foot4 com as the new version of this site? That’s still lower than the bridge that took out the double-decker Megabus on the Onondaga Lake Parkway near Syracuse on 11 Sep 2010 by more than a foot.

  62. Valnando4Ever

    Hi – I live in Greensboro, NC and we have a similar bridge on my street. Trucks get stuck under it A LOT and I have some really nice EXTREMELY SHARP shards of metal that have peeled off the top of various trucks.

    Do you accept submissions from other bridges?

    Also – does the bridge in Durham have coal trains going over it? Ours does!!!!

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