A 10 minute compilation of all crashes uploaded between 2008 and 2016 by 11foot8.com, copyright Jürgen Henn
FAQ

What is the location of the 11foot8 bridge?
201 Gregson St in Durham, NC (intersection with Peabody St)

Why is the bridge so low?
This train trestle is about 100 years old. At the time when it was built, there were no standards for minimum clearance.

How often do trucks crash into the bridge?
On average, about once a month a truck gets visibly damaged at the bridge. However, every day I see trucks that trip the overheight warning lights, stop and turn into the side street.

Why don’t they fix it?
Depends on who “they” are and on what “fix” means. The North Carolina Railroad Company owns the train trestle, and their concern is primarily with keeping the trains running and keeping them running safely. So their concern is mainly with reducing the impact of the truck crashes on the actual structure of the train trestle. As far as they are concerned, they solved that problem by installing the crash beam.
The city of Durham has installed “low clearance” signs on each of the 3 blocks leading up to the trestle (Gregson is a one-way road). There is an “overheight when flashing” sign with flashing lights that are triggered by vehicles that are too tall. Several blocks ahead of the trestle the speed limit is 25 MPH. The folks from the city planning department said that they made an effort to prevent accidents.
The North Carolina Dept. of Transportation maintains the road, but not the signage. I suspect they have much bigger problems to deal with statewide than this bridge.

Is the clearance signage accurate?
The clearance signage displays a maximum safe clearance – and yes, in that sense it is accurate. The actual clearance of the crash beam right in front of the trestle is 11 feet 10.8 inches, which gives it a 2.8 inch safety margin. The MUTCD allows for a maximum of 3 inches difference between the signage and the actual clearance.

Metric, please!
Would this situation be better if the signage were metric? Well … take a look at his website: 2m40.com (Warning: French. Metric)

For the convenience of our metric-only audience, here are the measurements we’re talking about in meters:
11foot8 (11 feet 8 inches) = 3.556 meters
11 feet 10.8 inches = 3.627 meters
Safety margin: 7.1 cm (at the crest of the road)

Can’t the road be lowered?
That would be prohibitively expensive because a sewer main runs just a few feet below the road bed. That sewer main also dates back about a hundred years and, again, at the time there were no real standards for minimum clearance for railroad underpasses.

Can’t the bridge be raised?
Here, too, the question is who would want to pay the millions of dollars to raise the tracks a couple of feet? To accomplish this, the grade of the tracks would have to changed on both sides of the trestle, probably for several miles. That would require rebuilding all trestles in Durham. And NS would have to shut down this busy track for months. I don’t think they are interested in that idea.

Is the signeage inadequate?
The signeage is pretty good. Large signs alert driver to the low clearance several blocks before the bridge. Overheight vehicles trip a light switch that turns on flashing warning lights.right at the bridge.

Should there be more signeage?
It’s hard to see how more “low-clearance” signs will significantly improve the situation. But maybe a different kind of signeage would get the driver’s attention.

Could they install a low-clearance bar?
A low clearance bar is a bar suspended by chains ahead of the bridge. Overheight vehicles hit that bar first and the noise alerts the driver to to the problem. I understand that this approach has been successful in other places, but it’s not practical here. There are many overheight trucks that have to be able to drive right up to the bridge and turn onto Peabody St. in order to deliver supplies to several restaurants. Making Peabody St inaccessible from Gregson St would make the restaurant owners and the delivery drivers very unhappy.

Why are they using yellow flashing lights?
Warning lights have to be yellow according to the NC traffic laws.

Are the drivers stupid?
No idea. They certainly seem distracted and the rental truck drivers are also probably inexperienced.

Will insurance cover the damages?
Most truck rental insurance policies specifically exclude overhead damage from coverage. However, a good auto insurance or liability insurance might pick up the tab. Check with your agent. Or even better – don’t hit the bridge!

Comments

    • Willem Hebbe
      Willem Hebbe

      If you like this bridge you'll love his evil little brother https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3-UugI0JoA

      about 1 year ago
    • ChromeLeatherGel
      ChromeLeatherGel In reply to Willem Hebbe

      +B52FORTRESS the drivers are probably on their cell phones

      about 22 days ago
    • jk1776
      jk1776 In reply to Willem Hebbe

      The last shot should have been the bridge collapsing. There is only so much a bridge can take! Do you see engineers inspecting this bridge daily? Insurance companies should give some money to town to raise the bridge. This is nuts.

      about 2 months ago
    • sumit jaat
      sumit jaat In reply to Willem Hebbe

      always be carefully

      about 2 months ago
    • Wan Dagner
      Wan Dagner In reply to Willem Hebbe

      What a great design

      about 4 months ago
    • Michael Tse
      Michael Tse In reply to Willem Hebbe

      Lol this happens so often that if you rent a vehicle and crash in to the bridge its’ t covered by insurance

      about 4 months ago
    • Fatmv
      Fatmv

      The bridge is like “let me just scrape a little off for yah”

      about 2 hours ago
    • G H
      G H

      What am I doing up at 12:54AM watching this?... I should be in bed!!

      about 7 hours ago
    • G H
      G H

      1:26 probably the only good time to buy that stupid Enterprise rental insurance.

      about 7 hours ago
    • Christopher Johnson
      Christopher Johnson

      1:39 thrown in for varieties sake

      about 9 hours ago
    • Christopher Johnson
      Christopher Johnson

      1:22 The CHAMPION!! Just go faster and you'll make it!! 😉

      about 9 hours ago
    • Jameswilliam1982
      Jameswilliam1982

      That ole bridge she can take a beating!

      about 11 hours ago
    • Mike Folgers
      Mike Folgers

      Is this what James Brown meant?

      about 1 day ago
    • matt cook
      matt cook

      How the hell do these people look at the bridge and think they can fit???

      about 1 day ago
    • Ignatius Reilly
      Ignatius Reilly

      Oh, Mr Penske.

      about 2 days ago
    • DanRage47
      DanRage47

      Mother. Fucking. Cock. Sucking. IDIOTS.
      People NEVER LEARN!

      about 2 days ago
    • Olwen Morgan
      Olwen Morgan

      God bless the Great Knobhead American Trucker.

      about 2 days ago
    • cameriqueTV
      cameriqueTV

      They need to put a swinging sign at bridge height that trucks will hit first so they know.

      about 2 days ago
    • andrewk9000
      andrewk9000

      Can opener

      about 2 days ago
    • Aegon Targaryen
      Aegon Targaryen

      Last one was easily the funniest.

      about 3 days ago
    • winesap2
      winesap2

      Wouldn't it be just a good idea to rebuild the bridge? I mean all that money and resources, the delivery companies could have gotten together and bought a new bridge.

      about 3 days ago
    • Tim Dorovskikh
      Tim Dorovskikh In reply to winesap2

      They can't do anything about it but put more sparkly signs here and there. To raise a bridge they would have to raise the rail road tracks two miles out each way which creates a problem for all the bridges in that four mile affected area. Can't just lay ballast (rock) on top of existing ballast and call it a day. Bridges have no ballast to begin with. Another thing is all at grade crossings will have to be raised in that four mile affected area. Ok you say, how about lowering the road itself below the bridge? A lot of work will have to be done to "shave" the secondary streets to match the level of that main street. That means walkways, curbs, roads, electricity poles, sewer drainage (a topic of it's own) will all have to be potentially considered for reengineering headache. Sewer system alone will have to be redesigned for several blocks (conservative calculation) if not altogether and that street has one of the major main lines. Now imagine the cost of all that renovation. It will be easier to build a new city from scratch than to remodel an old one. I hope this scenario explains the forces that are involved behind the scenes.

      about 3 days ago
    • Katarzyna Piorunek
      Katarzyna Piorunek

      I love how the lady at 6:48 wasn't even bothered

      about 4 days ago
    • John B aka Smooth Chocolate
      John B aka Smooth Chocolate In reply to Katarzyna Piorunek

      @Katarzyna Piorunek maybe she was listening to her ipod or something during that time. lol.

      about 1 hour ago
    • Ange Dolittle
      Ange Dolittle

      Better than therapy!

      about 4 days ago
    • Frosted Oddity
      Frosted Oddity

      There's something satisfying about seeing the instances where the tops of the trucks are peeled clean off. "Can opener" indeed!

      about 4 days ago
    • Rosie6857
      Rosie6857

      Pissing myself with laughter. What therapy!

      about 4 days ago
    • John B aka Smooth Chocolate
      John B aka Smooth Chocolate In reply to Rosie6857

      @Rosie6857 I completely agree with you. I get more of a kick when drivers behind them must think to themselves "what assholes these guys are" when they either see debris fly down from the bridge, or see the truck wedged underneath. Fucking funny as hell!

      about 1 hour ago
    • grumpy guy28
      grumpy guy28

      🤯🤯🤯

      about 4 days ago
    • JR Gracie
      JR Gracie

      "Bite the pillow, I'm going in dry."

      about 5 days ago
    • Mike
      Mike

      Why is this so satisfying?

      about 5 days ago
    • John Slattery
      John Slattery

      I wonder who the local body shop owner is? I bet he always goes to the city council meetings to speak up against a new bridge.

      about 5 days ago
    • JustinEvitable80
      JustinEvitable80

      :47, 1:34, 5:04, 5:59 and 6:52
      I can imagine them days later discovering the damage and questioning who the hell is responsible for this "vandalism".
      4:41
      LMAO. Would have been even funnier if he kept driving and didn't realize it until miles later.
      5:29
      Keep going! You're almost there!

      about 5 days ago
    • MISC BITS
      MISC BITS

      don't forget, there's a warning light and sensor setup on this bridge.
      Drivers getting shaved are not only ignoring the warning signs, they're ALSO ignoring the flashing _red_ lights that come on telling them they're overheight


      One hopes they're getting suitable license penalties for running a red light.

      about 5 days ago
    • DZA
      DZA

      What retarded ass mayor is running that city. Most of the trucks got stuck due to that yellow bar hanging lower than the bridge. Cant they just put it up higher?

      about 6 days ago
    • LOLDONGS
      LOLDONGS In reply to DZA

      That bar is there to protect the bridge, it's a main railway line. If they smash into an actual bridge and damage the line it could cause a train to derail.

      about 16 hours ago
    • Jon Stefanik
      Jon Stefanik

      Don't mess with 11'8'

      about 6 days ago
    • Nicolás Sotelo
      Nicolás Sotelo

      Thats a good beam, thats for sure

      about 6 days ago
    • Erick Washington
      Erick Washington

      5:05

      Driver: "Maybe if i go slower my trailer will get lower" 😂😂😂

      about 7 days ago