Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
October 23, 2014, 01:00:09 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: By clicking on any ad, a hotlink takes you directly to the advertiser’s website.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Accuracy of bridge/overpass clearances over time  (Read 3678 times)
HighTechRedneck
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2935


BCM Editor


WWW
« on: January 26, 2009, 05:50:09 AM »

Another thread brought to mind something a lifetime trucker told me.

He said that when highways get resurfaced, they don't always update the clearance signs/data (the data that goes to map companies).  Actually he said they rarely update it.  A couple of resurfacing projects and it could become a clearance problem.

I know there are quite a few lifetime truck/bus drivers on the forum.  What say you?
Logged
cody
Guest

« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 05:54:13 AM »

That is also something I've always wondered about, we don't have very many areas up here that have over passes but we do have a couple of railroad bridges that are used by the mining companies to haul iron ore to the docks for loading and those signs have never been changed as far as I'm aware in as long as I can remember tho the highway has been redone many times.
Logged
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4874


Nick & Michelle Badame


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 06:14:29 AM »

Hi Guy's,

I learned first hand with an Amtrack overpass in Livingston N.J. sept, 07'.

The beginning of the entrance way was ok but, a quarter way in I heard my KVH sat dome crunching so bad that I had

to back out of the tunnel and all the way to the next intersection. There were so many cars behind me that it was almost

impossible to back up but, I just kept backing slowly and sure enough, everybody got out of my way.. I think!!

Needless to say, the sat dome was distroyed.. Which led to the new 5" high A-7 being installed.. Grin

I just don't trust anything posted under 12' anymore.. I live by 13' signs now.

Nick-
Logged

Whatever it takes!-GITIT DONE! 
Commercial Refrigeration- Ice machines- Heating & Air/ Atlantic Custom Coach Inc.
Master Mason- Cannon Lodge #104
https://www.facebook.com/atlanticcustomcoach
www.atlanticcustomcoach.com
junkman42
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 452





Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 06:17:42 AM »

Not a truck driver  but in My former life shipped a lot of industrial machinery.  I had a electron beam welder wedged under an overpass on I65 south  of Montgomery Alabama because of a road resurface of I65 and it was a hell of a mess.  Was sued by the person that bought the welder from Me, sued the trucking company etc.  I often wonder about overpasses and bridges when i pass under them.  John
Logged
BG6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 642




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 06:21:51 AM »

Another thread brought to mind something a lifetime trucker told me.

He said that when highways get resurfaced, they don't always update the clearance signs/data (the data that goes to map companies).  Actually he said they rarely update it.  A couple of resurfacing projects and it could become a clearance problem.

I know there are quite a few lifetime truck/bus drivers on the forum.  What say you?

Standard semi van (box) trailers are 13'6" standard height.  As long as you are shorter than that, you can co anywhere you follow one of those.

Remember also that IF the sign is wrong, the state has a liability if someone is damaged because they trusted the sign. 

But, in the end, you really can't know until you get past the obstacle!
Logged
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5447




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 06:25:16 AM »

These days it is common to grind down the old surface before resurfacing, but not always done and concrete is not ground down before laying an asphalt overlay.

My bus is 12' 9" so I am a lot taller than many.  I cringed a few months back going under a 13' 4" overpass since there is an extreme grade on either side.  I slowed almost to a stop for that one.

Is there any interstate that is not at least 13'6" everywhere?  I suppose out east there might be some exceptions.  Some states label the clearance of every overpass and I laugh when they label an overpass that has 20' of clearance.  Any load requiring that much clearance wouldn't make it far and someone planning to transport something that big is going to know how high every overpass is anyhow.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
John316
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3251

MCI 1995 DL3, DD S60, Allison B500.




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 06:28:28 AM »

We live by 13'6" signs since we are 13' tall. Not to mention electrical lines, telephone lines, cable lines, and tree branches. We now carry an electric pole chain saw, so we can trim some branches in case of emergency (of course we ask permission). I do not know about bridge heights and how accurate, but we don't take any chances. Also in Canada, make sure that you know how tall you are in the meters. That can be helpful too.

Belfert, I am with you. Something that is that low is tough. We always proceed with extreme caution in those cases. We even have people out front if necessary.

God bless,

John  
Logged

MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
WEC4104
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 779





Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 06:54:13 AM »


[/quote]

Remember also that IF the sign is wrong, the state has a liability if someone is damaged because they trusted the sign. 

[/quote]

While it might be true that the state is morally at fault for having a mislabelled underpass, in most cases you cannot sue the Government for liability issues.  With only some exceptions, the Government is insulated from liability lawsuits.

Several years ago, the local highway maintenance crew was mowing across the street from my house.  They hit the wire on the side of the utility pole where the feed to my house disappears underground. It sent 240 volts through a lot of my 120 house circuits, wiping out a whole bunch of electronic devices (TVs, VCR, phone, clock radio, microwave, etc)   My insurance company stated that they could not go after the township with a liability claim.  My insurance company did however, cover the claim and list me as not at fault.

If the highway resurfacing is performed by an outside contractor, they might be liable however.  Depends on how their contract was written.  The small print might obligate them to grind the road surface and not change clearances.
Logged

If you're going to be dumb, you gotta be tough.
skipn
Guest

« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 08:10:03 AM »


 State DOT's are sued all the time....usually under negligence (safety) etc.
 Contractors that are within contract guidelines are usually not liable, the state is.
 When the contractors are not within guidelines the state still holds the project management responsibility.
 Even a resurfacing goes through engineering review.
 Our state recently (last 5 years) rechecked heights on the interstates.
 
 Used to be all road work done had a 20 year life expectancy. Now some states have
 adopted a 10 to 15 year.

   Other states may have different criteria but any reported accident does end up at the fed level for
 system analysis. When levels reach a certain point then the feds require a safety project to be
 done to midigate the issue.

  FWIW
 Skip
 
Logged
TomC
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6854





Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 08:54:59 AM »

What blew me away when I first went into New York City were the clearance signs.  They are posted as though there are 12" of snow on the ground, so a 12'6" sign actually means 13'6" on dry pavement.  Course I don't have to worry about driving into New York city, I doubt I'll ever do it again in my bus or motorhome-park it and use a car!  Good Luck, TomC
Logged

Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
WEC4104
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 779





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 09:38:25 AM »

Yes, DOTs are sued all the time, but whether the cases hold water or not depends on specific criteria.  In many instances, Government entities fall under something called sovereign immunity and this limits their liability based on the the type of situation.

When possible, I like to back up the comments I make with credible references people can go to themselves on the net.

In this case, I'll reference    http://www.virginiadot.org/vtrc/main/online_reports/pdf/04-r30.pdf

If you jump to page 14 of this document it gets very specific regarding a distinction between governmental functions and proprietary functions.   It would seem to me the overpass clearance markings would fall under their definition of government functions, and as such the "municipality engaged in these actions may not be held liable for negligence".




It was interesting that Cody made reference to a specific railroad bridge.  That might raise a question as to whether the railroad or the highway administration (or both) could be held liable for mis-marked clearance heights. 

Here is a reference that addresses that one:

http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F2/178/178.F2d.521.5977_1.html

Note that paragraphs 2, 12, and 17 make reference to the fact that the State Roads Commission, as an agency of the state is immune to suit.


Let me quickly point out that I am NOT a lawyer.  I am only sharing what I have read and how I interpret it.  I tried to cite examples as specific as I could.  But if I am wrong, it will be far from the first time, and I welcome anyone pointing me in the right direction. (Thats how I learn)

Edit::::::

WHOAAAAA! Stop the presses!!!    From further readings, it is looking very much like it may depend on whether the bridge is under the jurisdiction of Federal, State, or Local gov't, and which particular one.

At least in Virginia, it looks like the Tort Claims Act of 1982 changed some things. Prior to 1982 the state was immune, but the immunity scope was relaxed after '82.   The local municipalities still enjoy sovereign immunity however. The Maryland reference still sounds like they are immune to the lawsuits.  Who knows as far as the Feds go?  Need to look into this further....
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 10:22:02 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

If you're going to be dumb, you gotta be tough.
Charles Seaton
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 158




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 01:36:34 PM »

Here in NYC, clearance signs on the elevated subway structures are posted and maintained by the City Department of Transportation NOT the Transit Authority.  Upon occasion, trucks and construction equipment gets stuck.
Logged
WEC4104
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 779





Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2009, 01:50:55 PM »

Okay, I'm getting a little deeper into this than I ever really intended... Roll Eyes

For those who might be interested, here is a quick synopsis:

The sovereign immunity concept that "You can't sue the government" actually has it's roots in the 11th Amendment.   For roughly 150 years it was applied broadly, preventing individuals from suing the federal, state and local government for damages, negligence, etc.    Technically, it says you can't sue them unless they give you permission to do so.

With regard to the Federal government, this was modified in 1946 to add some exceptions. The new legislation was called the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).   One of the catalysts for this change was when a B-25 aircraft that flew into the Empire State Building (foggy weather) in '46.  Survivors and family members of those killed couldn't collect a dime until this bill was passed and made retroactive.

Even after the FTCA, the individual states continued to maintain soveregn immunity. Back when I was in school, I was still being taught that you can't sue the state.

Fast forward to more recent times, and this has been changing.  Since the 80's it appears many states have been passing their own Tort Claims Acts, or revising what they had.  There is a reason for this.  It seems that when individuals found they could not sue the government, they would single out a government employee who was responsible and go after them.  The TCA in most states changes this so that the employee is insulated, and there is a capped liability exposure for the state.  (There are exceptions to this, however).

Sovereign immunity does still exist to some extent at various levels of government, but it is pretty twisted.

Soooo,  if you were to smack the roof of your bus on some mis-marked overpass, there would be numerous factors that would come into play.  You might be able to sue for damages, but it could depend on whether the overpass was federal, state, or local property, etc.

Sorry for the long ramble,  just trying to be accurate.  
Logged

If you're going to be dumb, you gotta be tough.
David Anderson
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 844


South Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale area




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2009, 02:25:28 PM »

WEC,

Thanks for the mini civics lesson.  It is always nice to know some reasons why things are the way they are.  I do wish there was more stringent responsibility placed on the individual.  It always seems the taxpayer gets screwed and the  person that caused the "tort" gets time off with pay.

David
Logged
niles500
Niles500
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1188


ROSIE




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2009, 09:34:57 PM »

WEC - From my personal experience on the Federal level - requesting "permission to sue" is generally done by sending them a 180 day Notice of Intent to file suit - and the government, exercising their normal due diligence, generally repies on the 179th day with an offer that is totally untenable - don't even ask about state, county and municipal governments - FWIW
Logged

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")  

- Niles
BG6
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 642




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2009, 06:16:48 AM »

Is there any interstate that is not at least 13'6" everywhere?  I suppose out east there might be some exceptions.  

No.  Bridges on OTHER highways (including US highways) may be lower, but not any stretch of the Interstate and Military Highway System.

Quote
Some states label the clearance of every overpass and I laugh when they label an overpass that has 20' of clearance.  Any load requiring that much clearance wouldn't make it far and someone planning to transport something that big is going to know how high every overpass is anyhow.

There are loads which are in fact too high for a 20-foot clearance.  I watched one going across Wyoming once, they had to go around every overpass by taking the offramp and coming back onto the highway.

Logged
ktmossman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 525




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2009, 10:28:21 AM »

Here in GA, suing the state requires a special hearing to "certify" the suit. This helps weed out the crackpots that sue the city because the sweeper truck woke them up in the morning.  But, for the most part, true negligence cases are allowed to stand.

TX still allows govt. individuals to be sued independently.  My dad has been an elected official in TX for over a decade now.  The first thing he did after he was elected the first time, before he was even sworn in, was to get a very large liability insurance policy for himself.

Now the only thing he has to worry about is the "Republic of Texas" idiots placing a lien on his house.  Apparently, they make a habit of doing it to all elected officials.

Now the bizarre one here in GA was the guy elected sheriff in one of the Atlanta-adjacent counties a few years ago.  He had just finished the state sheriffs training program but had not been sworn in yet and he was murdered by the ex-sheriff.  The state refused to pay out on his life insurance because he was not "officially" the sheriff yet.  The courts upheld it and eventually, the legislature had to pass a special bill for the state itself to give the money to his widow.
Logged
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2009, 08:31:22 PM »

Is there any interstate that is not at least 13'6" everywhere?  I suppose out east there might be some exceptions.  


No.  Bridges on OTHER highways (including US highways) may be lower, but not any stretch of the Interstate and Military Highway System.



You made this very authoritative, but incorrect, statement on another thread, where I also contradicted you.  Please, if you don't really know what you are talking about, don't give authoritative-sounding advice -- you could get someone else in real trouble.

This statement is just plain wrong.  The fact of the matter is that the standard for the Interstate Highway System mandates a minimum vertical clearance of 16' in rural areas, and 14' in urban areas, but, as with everything else, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS.

Since Brian's question related to 13'-6" specifically, here is a PARTIAL list of places where Interstate Highways have obstructions lower than that:

I-395 through Washington, DC: 13'-0"
I-80 near Columbia, NJ 12'-3", and 13'-2"
I-278 near Linden, NJ 12'-0"
I-495 near Union City, NJ 13'-3 "
I-78 through the Holland tunnel, NY 12'-6"
I-90 near Albany, NY 13'-5"
I-190 near Buffalo, NY 12'-6'
I-478 through the Brooklyn Battery tunnel, NY 12'-9"
I-678 in New York City 11'-0", and 11'-1"

and there are possibly others.  So, to Brian's question, no, you can not rely on, say, a 13'-6" clearance simply because you are on an Interstate.  You must read the signs, or, better yet, consult a Motor Carriers Road Atlas, which will list all the truck routes and any low clearance you will encounter on those routes.

Here is a web site which also lists some low clearances, including on the Interstates:
http://www.aitaonline.com/Info/Low%20Clearances.html

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5447




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2009, 06:29:04 AM »

I have seen arched bridges where the clearance was less than 13'6" at least over the shoulders, but the center of the arch had enough clearance.  I don't recall if these were interstates or not.  I have yet to see an interstate that didn't have 13'6" clearance somehow, but Sean clearly shows there are some.

I can't understand why any interstate would be built without enough clearance for 13'6" vehicles.  Was the height standard less when the interstate system was first built or are the restricted interstates marked as no trucks?

A section of 35E locally is designated no trucks due to a court case before construction.  It still has standard clearances.  Buses and RVs are not prohibited.  (I called and asked since it is the quickest way going south out of town for me.)
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
JackConrad
Orange Blossom Special II
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4447


73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida


WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2009, 07:02:09 AM »

  Another consideration I have seen is where the road dips down under the overpass. Clearance is measured directly down from the overpass to the road, but when going under in a vehicle with a long wheelbase, your clearance can be much less because all your wheels are higher than the point they measured to. 
   Also, if you are within a couple inches of the posted clearance, has the road been resurfaced since the clearance was posted?  Jack
Logged

Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2553


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2009, 07:15:52 AM »

... I can't understand why any interstate would be built without enough clearance for 13'6" vehicles.  Was the height standard less when the interstate system was first built or are the restricted interstates marked as no trucks?


Not all Interstates were originally built as part of the Interstate system.  In some cases, existing State or US highways have been "converted" to be part of the Interstate system.  Generally, when this happens, any sub-standard sections need to be addressed, but some issues are judged too difficult or expensive and exceptions are made.  No one, for example, would propose enlarging the Holland Tunnel.

I remember quite a number of years ago when California 17 from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to I-280 in San Jose was proposed to become part of the Interstate system.  It is now Interstate 580 north of I-80, and I-880 south of I-80, and continues south of I-280 to Santa Cruz still as California 17.  CalTrans spent several years and millions of dollars replacing several overpasses that did not meet the minimum vertical clearance.  There were also several sections where they needed to improve the alignment, or widen lanes.  It was very explicit at the time that the I-580/880 designations would only be applied after the standards were met.

I do not know the circumstances of all the exceptions I listed, just that they do, indeed, exist.  Similarly, there are grade, alignment, and lane width exceptions throughout the system.  There is one spot on Interstate 5 through Oregon where traffic must slow to 45mph to negotiate a chicane, for example.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
busshawg
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 490





Ignore
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2009, 09:09:26 AM »

I took 18 ft of trl roof off of my oun personal trailer when I was trucking, on a 13'10" bridge. The shipper even gave me the directions .  Then when I arrived with half of my roof pealed back like a frigg'n can, he said lots of guys are showing up that way, duh , they had repaved. The funny thing is they still hand out tickets for hitting the bridges right or wrong. Who is going to fight the city of Chicago.
Logged

Have Fun!!
Grant
junkman42
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 452





Ignore
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2009, 02:04:05 PM »

I am attempting to try to see if the software in My teletype trucker gps is aware of the heights Sean has posted.  If I can decipher this I will let You guys know.  John
Logged
H3Jim
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1398


1995 Prevost H3-41, series 60, B500 Allison




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2009, 03:14:25 PM »

And for Sean's benefit since he is going to be in San Diego at the end of this month. 

Not that any of you would go the the San Diego Airport in your bus, but the new terminal they built about 15 years ago has a 12'  foot bridge over it.  I took a bunch of relatives to the airport and had to back out.  I was amazed that anyting built so recently could be that low.
Logged

Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
JohnEd
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4571




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2009, 04:21:09 PM »

Sean is VERY correct about that spot in I 5 in Oregon that is a "chicane" that limits speed to 45MPH.  That stretch is south of Roseberg.  You cruse I 5 in Orygon at 75-80.  A state cop told me they bust 85 and up in the hinterlands......cops lie and are fickle, be warned,  You hit that 45 limit seemingly out of nowhere and it seemed surreal to me.  The whole place is plastered with DANGER signs and SLOW DOWN warnings and I feel sure they stack up a couple a week in spite of everything.  It always seems to sneak up on me in spite of my knowing that it is there and that 45 limit is optimistic.  Be careful and "thanks, Sean".

There is on that is worse in the cut across from Eureka to I 5.  That one is hued from solid granite on both sides and truck mirrors litter the ground.  I have never been so petrified in my life.  BOO, SCARY.

John
Logged

"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!