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New York State DOT Announces Immediate and Future Plans to Mitigate Bridge Hits at Glenridge Road in Schenectady County

Contact: Bryan Viggiani, (518) 457-6400 Release Date: November 19, 2021
New York State DOT Announces Immediate and Future Plans to Mitigate Bridge Hits at Glenridge Road in Schenectady County
Flashing Beacons to Be Installed Above and Below Existing Low-Clearance Signs Starting In December

State-of-the-Art Overheight Truck Detection System Currently Under Design; Would Provide Active Alerts of Low Clearance Bridge to Overheight Vehicle Operators to Reduce Bridge Strikes

Vehicle Turnaround Area to be Built Truck Drivers Must Still Follow Posted Signs, Avoid Using Personal GPS Navigation

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez today announced immediate and future plans to reduce the number of bridge strikes at the Canadian Pacific Railway-owned railroad bridge above Glenridge Road in the Town of Glenville, Schenectady County. 

“The alarming trend of distracted truck operators as well as operators using unauthorized personal GPS devices on this height-restricted roadway has reached rampant levels and I have directed the Department to take immediate action to help mitigate future strikes,” Commissioner Dominguez said. “These short- and long-term actions include enhanced warning devices that will provide clear and unmistakable messaging to operators of overheight vehicles that their vehicle is too tall to fit under the bridge and a mechanism for overheight trucks to reroute. While these mitigation measures have proven to be successful in other locations throughout New York, the fact remains that bridge strikes are 100 percent preventable. I can’t stress enough that it is incumbent upon all drivers to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, and to pay attention and obey the multiple signs that are already in place at this location.” 

The Department will install flashing beacons above and below existing low-clearance warning signs in advance of the bridge on eastbound and westbound Glenridge Road as an interim countermeasure to warn approaching overheight vehicles of the low bridge ahead, with work expected to begin in December. This will supplement the existing 14 signs already in place in both directions, as well as pavement markings that are consistently refreshed over a 0.9-mile stretch of Glenridge Road warning truckers of the low clearance bridge just east of Hetcheltown Road.

The project will include deployment of a state-of-the art electronic detection and active warning system, as well as the construction of a vehicle turnaround area on one side of the bridge and the potential for a diversion route on the other side. When an overheight vehicle travels underneath a detector, nearby signs will flash signals and an electronic message board will warn the operator that their vehicle is too tall to fit underneath the bridge, which is posted with a vertical clearance of 10 feet 11 inches. The system would also send an alert message about the presence of the overheight vehicle to the Department’s 24-hour Traffic Management Center.

Design for the overheight detection system and turnaround area is underway. Building time in for right-of-way acquisitions, DOT expects to complete construction of the detection system and the truck turnaround area in 2023.  

In the westbound direction alone, which is the direction of travel of the majority of bridge strikes, there are nine advance signs over approximately three-quarter of a mile warning of the height of the bridge.

DOT continues to strongly discourage the use of consumer GPS and phone mapping systems for drivers of overheight vehicles, as these systems do not account for bridge heights. Rather, the Department encourages the use of commercial-grade GPS systems by operators that specifically account for height, weight and other road restrictions.

The Department continues to partner and meet with local and state elected officials and the Trucking Association of New York to ensure that truckers use proper routes.

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