Glenville rail bridge hit again, this time twice in the span of 20 minutes

Schenectady County

GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Just a week after a truck was wedged underneath the Glenville rail bridge for several hours, two additional bridge strikes happened along Glenridge Road in the span of 20 minutes Monday morning, prompting local officials to call for change.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had two strikes in one day, let alone two strikes in 20 minutes,” Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle.

Police say both trucks were heading west when they struck the bridge, which has a clearance of 10 feet 11 inches. “The box truck had the top ripped off, but made it through. As the officer was starting to clear that accident, with his lights flashing, at 8:23 a second one hit. This one got wedged underneath and they had to back it out,” Koetzle explained.

When traveling west, drivers are warned of the low bridge by seven different signs leading up to it, including one at the Route 146 intersection, and then two more at and on the bridge.

Koetzle wants to see the road closed to truck traffic, “We can’t continue to have this happen. This is a safety issue.”

In response to the bridge strikes along Glenridge Road, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Transportation gave the following statement:

“DOT is currently piloting technology-based over-height vehicle detection systems at several locations across the state. These pilots, to date, have proven effective in supplementing existing height restriction awareness and warning devices. DOT is currently exploring the appropriateness of such technology as well as other physical countermeasures to mitigate bridge strikes on Glenridge Road.”

NYSDOT Spokesperson

Just after noon Monday, an RV also skimmed the bottom of the bridge while passing underneath, the third strike of the day. Traffic was also delayed when a tractor trailer was able to reverse and turn around before reaching the low bridge.

“If it’s a question, don’t even try it,” Philip O’Brien, training manager at the CDL School, explained.

O’Brien says clearance is something that is stressed anytime a student gets behind the wheel, “In a car, we don’t look up. In a truck, we have to look up. Even for low hanging branches, power lines, things like that. I always tell my students, a lot of people are stuck in car mode still, and you have to adjust that.”

Following Monday’s incidents, Town Supervisor Koetzle, State Senator Jim Tedisco and Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh called on Governor Hochul to personally get involved with the DOT and Canadian Pacific, who owns the bridge, to find a solution to the problem.

Koetzle says the bridge is hit upwards of a dozen times, on average, each year.

In July of this year, a bridge strike resulted in someone being hospitalized. No injuries have been reported in any of Monday’s incidents.

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