GLENVILLE — The upgrades announced Friday could put a dent in the number of trucks making dents in a low rail bridge along Glenridge Road.
The state’s Department of Transportation said flashing beacons would be installed next to existing low-clearance signs as an interim measure; Work is expected to start in December.
Then, an electronic identification and warning system will be installed. High-altitude vehicles will trigger an electronic message board warning the driver that his vehicle is too tall and activate flashing lights on low-clearance signs. The system will also send alerts to the State Dot Traffic Management Center.
Meanwhile, a turnaround area for large trucks will be created on one side of the bridge and a possible diversion route will be considered on the other.
Design work for the warning system and turnaround site is underway. Factoring in the time needed to gain space to build a turnaround along Glenridge Road – a state road also known as Route 914V – work could be completed in 2023.
The westernmost of the two bridges on the road connecting the city center to Clifton Park has been torn down so often that it would be comical, were it not for the dozens of traffic jams that occur each year and the chance that someone would be hit by metal A very large truck overturned and rammed into oncoming traffic.
Such an injury was reported last summer.
Tractor-trailers usually come out at a height of 13.5 feet. There is no 11 feet of air between the Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge and the road surface below.
At least 14 signs on the approach to the bridge near Hetcheltown Road warn of this low clearance. Another railroad bridge to the east on Glenridge Road is high enough that large trucks can pass under.
The problem is often caused by driver inattention or over-reliance on navigation programs designed for cars and not large trucks.
Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Coetzl said the only thing that would be 100% successful is raising the bridge, a very expensive prospect.
Failing to do so, he wants trucks to be banned from the road and the road changed to make the entry of trucks difficult.
Failing that, he welcomed Friday’s announcement and said he looked forward to more information.
“It’s a good first step and I’m happy to see that the state is finally starting to implement some of the ideas we’ve been advocating for over the years,” he said via email.
“However, questions remain and I expect the state to sit with the city to discuss the details of the plan. There are many concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of this plan and DOT should adopt the city’s input as we continue our work together to make this important corridor safe for its residents. ,
There have been over 100 accidents over the years and many other trucks stopped just before impact. Both situations are disruptive, as city police must limit traffic so that damaged trucks and debris can be removed or undamaged trucks can return and move around.
But amid this sorry tale of twisted metal, broken egos, and unbudgeted expenses, the morning of November 8, 2021, with three strikes in four hours, is particularly grim.
Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville, and Assemblyman Mary Beth Walsh, R-Balston, whose districts include the bridge, sent a message to the DOT demanding action later that day.
He’s raised the issue before with no visible consequences, and Tedisco said Friday he’s happy to see something happening, even if it’s just starting to flash lights.
“My first reaction is Hallelujah,” he said. “They’re hitting the bridge a lot. I think we hit a note [DOT] Last week.
Nothing is better than nothing right now.”
Human failure is causing bridge strikes. The bulk of striking vehicles are coming from the west, and there are nine warning signs less than a mile apart along the westbound lane of Glenridge Road.
If drivers do not heed warnings, the measures announced on Friday will be as ineffective as those already in place.
DOT Commissioner Mary Therese Dominguez called on distracted drivers and truck drivers relying on unprofessional GPS programs that don’t flag height and weight restrictions.
“I cannot stress enough that all drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicles safely and to pay attention to and obey the many signs already in place,” she said in a news release on Friday. “
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