20 Jan 15
Washington State tackles bridge strikes with online tool
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in the USA has launched a new tool to help lorry drivers check the clearance of bridges on their proposed route.
The initiative has been developed in a bid to avoid a repeat of the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in May 2013. The bridge fell after an oversized commercial truck struck it, sending a part of Interstate 5 and two vehicles into the river. All the drivers survived, but Washington State Trooper Sean O’Connell was killed while managing detour traffic.
“In the aftermath we worked to set up detours and repair the bridge,” said WSDOT. “But we also reviewed what else we could do to help truck drivers better prepare to travel through our state. The driver is still ultimately responsible for verifying that their truck is safe for their proposed route, but we looked for ways to help – and to better protect all motorists, our bridges and our critical freight corridors.”
With the new online trip planner, drivers can now enter the height of their vehicle and then the state route or interstate number. A map displays the entire route with colour-coded markers for areas that are too low or may require a specific lane for proper clearance.