Underpass truck accident triggers response
DIX--A lone bridge along Route 329 (only a mile and a half off of Route 14 in Watkins Glen) has some nearby residents fed up due to large trucks getting stuck trying to pass under it. The most recent incident happened Tuesday, Sept. 20, when a tractor trailer was damaged and became stuck trying to pass underneath the bridge. While the driver walked away unharmed, Legislator Phil Barnes said he and the residents living near the bridge have had enough.
The bridge has an 11-foot, five-inch clearance, and has a sign indicating the bridge height both at the underpass, as well as warning in advance of approaching the area. Barnes said there have been two other trucks who had an issue trying to pass under the bridge in the same week. While those two did not become stuck, Barnes said they were forced to turn around using residents' driveways that were not intended for tractor trailers. He added these incidents happen at least a few times a year.
Barnes said the truck that became stuck Tuesday evening saw extensive damage to its trailer, and blamed the use of global positioning systems (GPS) as the reasons truck drivers attempt to pass under the bridge.
Barnes said the drivers will often buy a cheap GPS system rather than subscribing for a federal truck GPS. Barnes said he is trying to push for commercial vehicles to have commercial GPS units. He said he plans to bring the issue up at the legislature's public safety committee to send a letter to Congress to get some movement on a federal level. He also noted while the bridge is well marked with signs, some of the truck drivers do not speak English, and he is concerned if they can read the signs.
Barnes added sometimes campers heading to the racetrack will get hung up under the bridge because that is the way their GPS told them to go. He said he has spoken with highway superintendents from other areas who have had the same problem, adding it is not just a local problem.Copyright © 2016 FINGER LAKES MEDIA. All rights reserved.