Trucks are slamming into CSX rail bridge in N.Y. at an alarming rate

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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A CSX railroad bridge in the state of New York is being struck at an alarming pace.
City of Tonawanda Police

Suddenly everyone wants to take shots at the Young Street CSX railroad bridge in the city of Tonawanda, N.Y. Well, truckers do anyway.

The railroad bridge was hit for the third time in a month recently, matching the number of strikes during all of 2020 and just a few behind what have been recorded over the last two years.

The steel bridge was built in 1918, and following each accident CSX comes out to inspects the span, but it is never shut down. Warning signs leading up to the bridge attempt to prevent the strikes, and commercial GPS is supposed to alert truck drivers to the vertical clearance. However, not all GPS systems notify the drivers when the clearance might be tight, and many of the younger operators joining the profession rely on their phones, which do not have vertical clearance warnings.

Last year, the city prohibited truck traffic on the section of Young Street leading to and from the bridge.

CSX has been asked to install warning signs as well, but the Class 1 company does not want any part of the liability risk. It does not make engineering sense to drop the road further below the railroad bridge, and raising the height also would be a complicated task.  

The University of Buffalo did a study on trucks and the vertical clearance of the CSX bridge back in 2019, but it did not reveal any solutions that have not already been tried, or solutions that are conceivable.

Read more articles on rail bridges.

Categories: Bridge/Retaining Walls/Tunnels, Class 1, Freight, Rail News, Railroad News, Safety/Training, Track Structure
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