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Home / Local / Trucks keep striking Missouri overpass, over and over

Trucks keep striking Missouri overpass, over and over

Despite the warning signs and flashing lights, trucks just can’t seem to stop hitting a Kansas City, Missouri, overpass.

The Kansas City Star reports that the bridge on Independence Avenue is struck so often that it has its own satirical Facebook page proclaiming, “I have been feasting on your human concoctions for decades. Your wheeled steel boxes are quite delicious. Please feed me more!”

The bridge has just 12 feet (3.7 meters) of clearance, not quite enough for today’s box trucks and tractor-trailers whose drivers too often don’t realize their rigs are just a little too tall to make it.

The Facebook page is a scrapbook of collisions. One image shows a semi lodged between the concrete and asphalt. Another shows a trailer crumpled up like foil, leaning onto its side.

The Kansas City Terminal Railway Company owns the bridge and said it gets hit about twice a month. Just last week, at least three trucks collided with the bridge and a FedEx box truck scraped its roof, though it kept on moving.

“The problem sure doesn’t seem to be resolving anytime soon,” said Shawn Lauby, director of safety and administration for the railroad.

He said the railroad frequently sends engineers to inspect the more-than-a-century-old structure and it remains structurally sound.

“With regular upkeep, there’s no plans at all to replace that thing anytime soon,” Lauby said. “It’s in good condition. It was just designed at a time when you needed clearance for horse-drawn carriages.”

It’s unclear why trucks hit the bridge so often. But officials say a state highway designation brings lots of traffic.

The railroad and the city have worked to better mark the bridge, brightly advertising the low clearance. Officials have looked at digging the street lower, but city utilities underneath the bridge would complicate that effort.

The city hopes state action might help divert truck traffic away from the bridge. The Missouri Department of Transportation has been working on a plan to reroute U.S. 24 away from Independence Avenue.

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