GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Work is set to begin on the Glenridge Road truck turnaround in Glenville. The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) said the new paved area will provide trucks and other overheight vehicles with space to turn around before hitting the low-clearance Glenville rail bridge.

The turnaround will be installed about 500 feet east of the railroad overpass for westbound vehicles, which is the direction of travel of the majority of trucks that have struck the bridge in recent years. DOT said the turnaround is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

“Safety is always the top priority of the State Department of Transportation and we are working to do all we can to help prevent the all-too-common occurrence of trucks striking the Glenridge Road overpass, which creates a hazardous situation for motorists and causes needless traffic delays,” said DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez.

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.

During the work to construct the truck turnaround area, drivers should watch for traffic on Glenridge Road to be reduced to a single alternating lane as needed and controlled by flaggers during weekdays, weather permitting. 

DOT said there are also 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. So far, the flashing beacons have been installed.

DOT recently 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.