After Truck Skims Overpass, Pols Call On DOT To Assess Height Clearance [Video]


Are trucks getting larger or are the gaps subway overpasses and the road shrinking? Most likely it’s the latter, according to a letter sent by local pols to the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) last week.

Citing an incident from August 11, when a car carrying trailer nearly collided with the elevated tracks, Councilman Mark Treyger and Assemblyman William Colton called on the agency to install “conspicuous signage” alerting drivers of low clearance at all intersections between 18th Avenue and Stillwell Avenue.

The letter also urged on the DOT to remeasure the height of the structures, since recent repaving of the busy throughway may have altered the truck clearance level.

“Our request comes in light of numerous incidents of large trucks colliding with the subway overpass along various intersections, which in effect leaves residents waiting for hours for the trucks to be removed,” the pols wrote. “As a result of these collisions, we believe that it is crucial to know the exact height between the road and the subway overpass, since the height may have changed with the resurfacing.”

According to a video of the August 11 incident (above), submitted by tipster Dmitriy Perelstein, the truck didn’t actually strike the el and ultimately the vehicle wriggled through. Rather, Perelstein told us, it was the driver’s hesitation that held up traffic at the intersection:

The driver basically stalled right before the overpass having realized that his truck may not fit under it. He came out and spent good five minutes trying to assess the situation, then decided to just go for it. Not sure how he came to the conclusion that he won’t hit the overpass, because it was certainly not too obvious from where I stood.

Things looked pretty bleak for the trailer in this rear-view photo of the incident, taken by Treyger and submitted to the DOT with the letter:

This was not the first wedged truck to snarl traffic. As we reported, in 2013, a truck failed to clear the overpass under the D train, causing traffic to back up for 45 minutes.

“We are also concerned about the stability of the overpass and whether the MTA analyzes the damage to the overpass after collisions to ensure that the overpass is safe for train riders,” concludes the letter.

Update [5:30pm]: A spokesperson for the DOT said the agency will review the request for signage.

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