Kentucky County Repeatedly Deals With Trucks Stuck Under Low-Clearance Railroad Bridge
You're driving on U.S. 431 and you're approaching Central City, Kentucky. There are signs that warn drivers of a bridge with low clearance. There are also lights.
LOW CLEARANCE BRIDGE IN CENTRAL CITY KY
And still, road crews are repeatedly called into action to free high profile trucks that get stuck as they attempt to pass under it. It's happened before, and it happened again on Wednesday.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS REGARDING THIS LOW CLEARANCE BRIDGE?
I spoke with a Central City Street Department employee, and we discussed the options. In short, there aren't many. The bridge experiences high rail traffic; I used to be in Muhlenberg County on a weekly basis so I can attest to that fact. And lowering the road isn't viable, either, as their is a sewer line just beneath it.
So it really is incumbent upon drivers to heed the warnings. And if you can't tell from that image what those alerts are, fast forward to the 30-second mark of this video:
LOW CLEARANCE BRIDGES AKA 'CAN OPENERS'
Perhaps it's a case where a driver might not exactly how tall his or her vehicle is. Maybe there needs to be a more detailed map of all bridges that could cause problems--ones that could be dubbed "can openers" like some are.
That makes me shudder. I'm not sure what I fear more as a driver--being behind a high profile vehicle that might get "peeled back" under a low bridge; being behind a log truck (yeah, that might be #1); or being behind one of those car carriers.
I'm not a fan of any of that.
IT'S UP TO THE MOTORISTS
And as you can see, some bridges CAN be raised. But some can't. And that's why the traffic warnings go up, alerting drivers that they should seek an alternate route.
Again, the accident in Central City on Wednesday doesn't look anything like what we saw in that "can opener bridge" video, but it still required traffic to stop and crews to get out there and perform what, in my opinion, looks like a difficult task.
Maybe a sign like this is in order, to accompany the roadside markers and flashing lights.
After all can openers are for, you know, CANS...not 18-wheelers.