Low bridge in North Carolina

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I wonder if the state or local governments have tried to pay Norfolk Southern to raise the bridge. It isn’t that simple, though. The entire railroad bed would have to be raised so that the rise would be graceful, and not lead to a RR accident. Still, the RR shouldn’t be expected to pay for anything IMO.


Maybe lower the road below it?

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The article included the following addendum/update:

Update as of December 2019: The city of Durham raised the clearance of the bridge eight inches in November, but this slight lift still recently trimmed the top of a truck.

There’s a famous one in Liverpool NY - right outside Syracuse. It’s a railroad bridge and the railroad refuses to raise it. The road is right next to a lake, so lowering the road will cause flooding.

My comment still applies. I understand that it is expensive, but if they want to eliminate the problem, they need to raise it higher. Their choice.

It’s not that simple. Railroads were given broad rights to the ownership of their tracks and bridges by the federal government over 100 years ago. Those laws haven’t changed. I know for a fact that Syracuse and Liverpool sued the Railroads to raise the bridge and LOST. They even offered to pay for it…NOPE. If the railroad doesn’t want to raise the bridge…then it won’t be raised.


Same situation with the Mullen road trestle here, they need to raise the road due to flooding but have 12ft clearance as it is.

We have one of those here too. The notorious Shark Mouth bridge at 11’4" and even that number is off a bit. The reason being is that there is a dip under the bridge. When a semi goes through the trailer rear wheels and the rear wheels of the tractor are actually elevated even more which raises the trailer.

With countless signs, flashing lights, warnings painted on the street, and even resorting to painting on evil eyes and teeth truck drivers still blindly plow right on through. Or try to.

These railroad bridges are tough. Some 30+ years ago a TT carrying large Bulldozers ran into the bridge doing at least 40mph. Destroyed the Bulldozers…I think they had to repaint a 4’ section of the bridge.

I saw the video of the Parkway warning system the one thing I did not see was exit sign warning for a last exit for overheight truck’s to get off of highway before it was to late as I have seen in other state’s.

Some years ago I was in a convenience story with my oldest son a mile down the road from the Shark Mouth bridge. A furniture delivery box truck went by with 3 young men in it with the truck being from OK City.

We wondered to each other if they were going to do the smart thing and turn over to the main highway or continue on. After getting gas we decided to find out. Yep; they continued on and there they sat wedged under the bridge with the top ripped open. If they had simply made a left turn at the store where we were at they would have been home free on the main road.

That was going to be a long ride back to OKC because they likely knew the first thing on the agenda was going to be unemployment for all of them.

As many times as that trestle has been whacked it’s still rock solid and hasn’t budged an inch even after being hit on a regular basis for 60 or so years.

The problem is that the road crosses railroad right of way, If the railroad wants to stop the accidents, they can deny the city crossing their property and demand the road closed.

Guess I should have read all comments first, @MikeInNH beat me to it.

The Parkway is an exit off the highway (I-81). There are signs warnings before the exit.

The Parkway is wide enough for a truck to easily turn around.

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Thank you they did not show that in the video.

You missed my prior point. The government has to do it, not the railroad. I’m glad you agree with me, though.

I appreciate your support for my thoughts. Reread my original post and you will see that the government, not the railroad, has to make the changes.

It has to be Federal…not local. Local government has no authority. And the federal government has been reluctant to do anything. The town of Liverpool NY has been fighting with the Feds for at least 40+ years. If it hasn’t happened by now it’s not going to happen.

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Burlington Northern really controls the rail line but this is minutes from our Amtrak Station as well, We went months without any reports while on lockdown but we’ve had several join the club in the last month.


That Bride in Syracuse is on a Parkway with no commercial vehicles allowed whic means the driver has already ignored sighs to not get on the road as well as all the flashing signs telling him to stop.

As the real pay for truck drivers has continually dropped over the last 50 years and the need for drivers has increased, there are a whole lot of bad truck drivers out there. And a whole lot of bad trucking companies.

Union Freight haulers who stayed on the job after a certain date were going to lose 50 % of the pension they had earned. I don’t remember the date because it was after I retired but I think it was 10 -15years ago.

This caused a ton of guys to retire early and guys that were as young as 40 to stop working as truck drivers to lock in their pensions and go do something else.

The guys were by and large good, experienced drivers. Because of the pay and benefits the union companies did not have to hire inexperienced drivers. If you wanted to work for a union company you had to have 5 or more years experience and a clean driving record.

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