The Gregson Street train trestle in Durham, NC, is 11-foot-8-inches high. Occasionally, a driver of a 12-foot-tall truck approaching the trestle doesn't pay heed to the flashing warning lights and gets the top ripped off his trailer. It happens often enough that Jürgen Henn has a Web site called 11foot8.com with videos of the unfortunate incidents.
Low clearance can be a real challenge for a truck driver. Especially inexperienced drivers of rental boxtrucks seem to be quite oblivious to the warning signs and flashing "overheight" warning lights at this railroad trestle in Durham, NC. So frequently do trucks crash into the 11-foot-8 clearance trestle, that the railroad company installed a crash beam in front of it. This massive steel I-beam bears the brunt of the impact, protecting the structure that supports this fairly busy railroad track. Believe it or not - they already had to replace the beam once!Clearly, the warning signs aren't enough to stop all drivers. Maybe the city could lower the street under the trestle? Or add a stop sign? I'm sure they've thought of those things already.
The videos of these crashes document the severity of the impact, and they show how frequently these crashes produce a real hazard for pedestrians and other vehicles.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.