GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The truck turnaround on Glenridge Road has been completed. The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) said the new paved area provides trucks and other overheight vehicles with space to turn around before hitting the low-clearance Glenville rail bridge.
The turnaround is installed about 500 feet east of the railroad overpass for westbound vehicles. DOT said that is the direction of travel of the majority of trucks that have struck the bridge in recent years.
“With a stretch of nice weather, we were able to accelerate the work to complete this turnaround and now, if vehicles that are too tall and overheight reach this turnaround area on Glenridge Road, they can safely maneuver and turn around and away from the bridge,” said Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “I must stress that bridge strikes are 100% preventable.”
According to DOT, three parking spaces were added near the turnaround for drivers visiting the nearby nature preserve. Striping around the spaces is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Drivers should watch for workers and flaggers, and slow down and pay attention when the striping happens.
“I appreciate the Department’s efforts in their pursuit to address this issue that has vexed motorists for so long and I have high hopes that this will address our safety concerns relating to the bridge strikes. I am particularly pleased and thankful to the Department for providing our much-anticipated parking area for residents to use the nature preserve and did all of this without any impact to the preserve, itself,” said Glenville Town Supervisor Christopher Koetzle.
The Glenville rail bridge was stuck at last three times in 2021, one time twice in the span of 20 minutes. The bridge has a clearance of 10 feet, 11 inches.
DOT said there are 14 signs in both directions of the bridge warning of the height of the bridge and pavement markings warning truckers of the low clearance bridge just east of Hetcheltown Road.
In November 2019, DOT announced its plans to deter trucks from hitting the bridge. These plans include the installation of new flashing beacons, the construction of the turnaround area, and the deployment of a state-of-the-art electronic detection and active warning system.
DOT said it has presented the preliminary designs for the electronic detection and active warning system to the Glenville Town Board. These plans call for two sets of detectors with two electronic message boards and two new flashing beacons for traffic in the westbound direction, with one set of each planned in the eastbound direction.
When an overheight vehicle travels underneath these detectors, the nearby beacons will flash and an electronic message board will warn the operator that their vehicle is too tall to fit underneath the bridge. The system will also send an alert message to DOT’s 24-hour Transportation Management Center.
The design of the system is expected to be completed this summer and construction is expected to begin in 2023. DOT continues to alert drivers of overheight vehicles that consumer GPS and phone mapping systems do not account for bridge heights. Commercial-grade GPS systems do account for height, weight, and other road restrictions.