Albany Times Union

Preventing Glenville bridge strikes

- By Abigail Rubel

A few months ago, we asked you to send in your ideas for stopping trucks from hitting the Glenridge Road bridge in Glenville.

Here’s part one of reader responses, divided into broad categories. Part two will come next week.

Put up lights before the bridge:

▪ A laser system with sirens blaring as they approach, if the truck is too tall. Another thought is to have flashing lights on the bridge itself. A visual is necessary because the signs aren’t making a difference because the GPS, I believe, routes trucks that way.

▪ A traffic light with a height

sensor. If the sensor is triggered, an LED billboard alerting the oversized vehicle of the height restrictio­n and that it must turn around. That the local authoritie­s have been notified and are en route. A traffic camera can also be part of the alert system so that if the truck does try to get through, video evidence of their disregard for the signage will be documented.

These suggestion­s are actually in line with the state Department of Transporta­tion’s recently announced plan for an “electronic over-height vehicle detection system” on Glenridge Road. Work is scheduled to begin this week.

When a too-tall truck passes underneath laser sensors, nearby beacons will flash and an electronic message board will warn the driver that the truck won’t fit under the bridge. The DOT’S 24-hour Transporta­tion Management Center will also be alerted.

Plans call for two sets of the detectors, two message boards and two flashing beacons for westbound traffic, the direction in which most trucks that strike the bridge are traveling. One set of each is planned for eastbound traffic.

Install a barrier before the bridge (most popular category):

▪ Put a sacrificia­l beam across the road before the bridge. A physical barrier. Old school. Parking garages do it. Other municipali­ties do it. It could be a hanging cast iron pipe. It could be a heavy metal sign with the height printed on it. Really any physical barrier before the bridge would suffice. This nonsense with warning lights and lasers is useless.

Go old school!

▪ Simple and cheap solution: String a banner across the road at the exact height of the bridge, reading, “If you hit this sign, you will hit that bridge!”

The DOT opted for an electronic system to “safely achieve the same results complete with active warnings,” said spokesman Bryan Viggiani.

Change the rules

▪ Prohibit trucks from route. More signage or jersey barriers to designate passenger vehicles only.

▪ Ban truck traffic on the road altogether. Detour all trucks. Simple.

A complete ban of truck traffic isn’t practical because of the impact it would have on other communitie­s through which the trucks would then travel, Viggiani said. Additional­ly, Glenridge Road is open to non-passenger vehicles smaller than 10 feet, 11 inches, including school buses, emergency service vehicles and smaller delivery trucks.

Vehicles taller than 10 feet, 11 inches are already prohibited from traveling underneath the bridge by 14 signs and pavement markings, he added.

 ?? Lori Van Buren / Times Union archive ?? The train bridge over Glenridge Road has been hit many times by too-tall trucks.
Lori Van Buren / Times Union archive The train bridge over Glenridge Road has been hit many times by too-tall trucks.

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