August 14, 2013
Last Thursday yet another tractor-trailer fell victim to the infamous and well abused railroad overpass at Independence Avenue and Wilson Road. This time, a container truck tried unsuccessfully to navigate under the bridge with his too-tall load. Given the startling regularity that this type of accident occurs, this curious newshound decided it was time to measure the clearance of the bridge to see if the big yellow warning signs were indeed accurate.
Like the old C.W. McCall classic “Wolf Creek Pass” says: “Sign says clearance to the twelve-foot line, but them chickens were stacked to thirteen-nine.” Putting tape to cement, Intern Josh and Editor Leslie measured from pavement to the scarred and pockmarked concrete ceiling above.
This ol’ dog was thinking it would come out well under the warned 12-foot clearance mark. Not so. Our measurements came up to 12 feet, four inches – a full four inches of extra clearance vs. what the warning sign says. That said, this pooch thinks it’s high time the governing authorities need to get together and figure out whether to excavate a lower roadbed or work with the rail line on increasing the height of said killer overpass. If you hit anything often enough and hard enough with a hammer, eventually it will crumble and fall. These aren’t tack-hammer strikes to the superstructure of this bridge. This is often more than 60,000 pounds of metal striking at roughly 30 mph. Given that math, we’ll not be traveling under that bridge any time soon.