What happens when the bridge is a bit too low

One bridge in North Carolina is lower than normal and the results of course are not long in coming.

Mordechai Sones,

Low bridge
Low bridge
iStock

Durham, North Carolina has a special bridge. The bridge, which has been celebrated for seventy-eight years, is only 3.56 meters high, lower than most bridges' standard height of about five meters.

"Eleven feet, eight inches—that’s all the room there is below the Gregson Street bridge," wrote Citylab's John Metcalfe. "Glaring signs, flashing lights, and a bright-yellow crash bar all attest to the dangerously low clearance. Yet trucks continue to batter it like besiegers trying to take down the castle door. A thundering accident on July 9 marked the 95th crash since 2008, says Jürgen Henn, a local who’s garnered worldwide fame filming the mayhem. 'By the way,' wonders one of his German YouTube fans, 'do you prepare a small gift or a nice certificate for the 100th crash driver?'”

Trucks continue to collide with the bridge about once a month. Over the years, the bridge has become a famous attraction and has even been dubbed "the can opener".

"The century-old bridge was constructed in an era with few minimum-clearance regulations. There’s a railroad on top that makes lifting it difficult. And a sewer line under the road hinders digging down. The rail company and various government agencies have attempted solutions to little effect. The bridge is so problematic it’s stumped Durham, and beheaded trucks, since at least the 1950s," wrote Metcalfe.

Since in reality there is no major damage in any of the accidents and the cost of raising the bridge is high, it was decided to leave the existing situation and only add more warning signs.

The phenomenon is so frequent that someone bothered to set up a camera to photograph the bridge for 24 hours and document each and every collision.

North Carolina
iStock

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