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Author Topic: Accuracy of bridge/overpass clearances over time  (Read 3574 times)
BG6
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« 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.

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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.

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ktmossman
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« 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.
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Sean
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« 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
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« 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.)
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JackConrad
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« 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
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Sean
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« 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
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« 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.
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« 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
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« 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.
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« 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
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