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Bridge raising exercise falls short

Posted On: Nov. 3, 2021 11:40 AM CST

low bridge

Transportation officials in Durham, North Carolina, went a long way to reduce the risk of trucks losing their roofs at the city’s infamous “can opener” bridge, but it seems they didn’t go far enough.

Footage from 11foot8, which has two cameras permanently trained on the bridge, according to the Huffington Post, shows that trucks keep getting decapitated as they try to drive under the Norfolk Southern-Gregson Street Overpass in Durham, even though the bridge was recently raised by 8 inches.

The bridge, which was 11 feet, 8 inches tall before its 2019 engineering-assisted growth spurt, has cut well over a hundred trucks down to size over the past decade. The crux of the problem appears to be that under North Carolina law commercial vehicles can be 13 feet, 6 inches high.

Incidents caught on camera last month include one driver trying to limit the damage already sustained by reversing back under the bridge but only succeeding in ripping off even more metal from the truck’s cabin and losing an exhaust stack. In another, a box truck’s roof is ripped off and rolled up with all the efficiency of a ring pull on a can of tuna.