The Norfolk Southern–Gregson Street Overpass A.K.A. the can opener bridge A.K.A. 11 foot 8 bridge will finally get repairs, raising the railroad tracks above
It’s bittersweet news for the internet and the people of Durham, North Carolina. According to the Durham Transportation Department on twitter earlier yesterday (Oct. 19,2019) they are closing off the bridge for a week and a half to raise the overpass, officially ending an era marked by collisions.
Check out their tweet below.
If you actually live in Durham, NC and drive under this overpass often, this is a multi-part tweet and there are instructions for alternate routes.
If you didn’t already know, since the bridge opened in 1940, because of a sewer line that runs underneath the bridge and railroad crossings above the overpass, everyone thought it’s impossible to lower or raise the bridge.
With this height limitation, a protective steel beam was installed for the bridge’s safety. This steel beam became an internet sensation as trucks several inches taller tried and failed to make it under the bridge.
A nearby office worker set up a video camera near the bridge to capture most of the crashes over the last ten years. Ironically, his camera evidence probably added to the mountain of police reports documenting all the crashes over the years, further pushing the need for a solution, perhaps making his camera now obsolete.
Here is one of dozens of videos on YouTube showcasing these collisions.
It looks like some bright engineer, eight decades later, finally came up with a workable solution to this menace to the oblivious box truck driver.
No official word on what the solution will look like but we’ll find out soon enough.
Obviously, with this new repair, most box trucks and tall vehicles can probably now make it under this overpass, no problem.
Several people on Twitter responded to the tweet, sad to see the bridge and their entertaining collisions end.
That bridge is the best thing in Durham!— Dick Jerky, P.I. (@EricLaurent17) October 19, 2019
You’re trying to put @11foot8bridge out of business, aren’t you— Michael Ragsdale 🍑 (@raggiesoft) October 19, 2019
These comments, while humourous, are asinine because every collision is a waste of resources and people’s time as the damaged vehicle is towed and repaired and people have to wait for stopped traffic to clear.
If anything, this repair highlights how slow the wheels of government turn.
I’m glad to hear the bridge is finally getting repaired but could Durham have worked any slower?