Big signs, lasers and flashing lights newest deterrent to stop Glenville bridge strikes

GLENVILLE – Through the many years since it was built, fast-approaching, over-height trucks slamming into the Glenridge Road Overpass in Glenville aren’t just common place, according to residents who live nearby, they have become predictable. Now, folks may have reason to believe the end of inevitability is fast approaching.

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Nearly 100 trucks in total have slammed into the troubled train trestle primarily because truck drivers are either unaware of the 10-foot, 11-inch vertical clearance, or else they’re not paying attention.

“Obviously, we have the response cost,” pointed out Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle. “We also have traffic problems that come from this. But the biggest concern is someone is going to get hurt or killed.”

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Koetzle also pointed out the state Department of Transportation owns the road, CP Rail owns the bridge, but the town of Glenville “owns all the headaches.”

That’s why he said he is cautiously optimistic that DOT is about to install a $1.4 million over-height vehicle detection system, complete with infrared sensors, message boards, and flashing beacons designed to alert drivers they are in danger of striking the low-clearance bridge ahead.

“It’s essentially a large, glorified garage door opener,” Koetzle explained. “The truck hits the beam and the beam will then send a message to all other signs that will light up and all the flashing lights and tell the message board there’ll be a camera as well. We’ll have real time data, at least we’ll be able to respond quicker, I guess.”

Even though Koetzle’s been told the system has reduced crashes in other locations, he remains skeptical that zero crashes will be attainable.

“I think that it’s going to mitigate, but it won’t eliminate,” speculated Koetzle. “I think there’ll still be strikes. There are truckers that aren’t paying attention, unfortunately.”

Preliminary work on the project is scheduled to begin next week, with completion expected by the end of the year.