Struggle to keep oversized tractor-trailers off Md. 75 continues

A tractor-trailer was wedged under the railroad overpass in 2010 on Md. 75 near Monrovia. State police were called to the bridge 94 times between Nov. 1, 2012, and Nov. 1 of this year.

The State Highway Administration will once again look to add signs to Md. 75 to keep tractor-trailers from getting stuck at a low-clearance bridge near Monrovia.

SHA personnel have responded 43 times so far this year to the CSX overpass near West Baldwin Road after tractor-trailers either became stuck underneath the bridge or had to turn around at the site.

(58) comments

paddleracer

Maybe the problem is that these drivers don't understand English. I'm a truck driver and the company I work for get's some of these damaged loads from Costco to re-pack. I've seen many of these drivers and I can tell you they don't understand. Many drivers are Eastern Block, Latin American and Middle Eastern. There is alot of corruption in getting these guys their CDL's.

flynnd

The bridge isn't too low, the trucks are too high.

watson4sherlock

So when do you get out of your truck and walk ahead to see what you're driving into? Maybe when you see the road narrows sign with a 15 mph speed limit at your last opportunity to turn around.

discreetboi21705

There is a sign at the intersection of 355 and 75 stating the height restriction. They just ignore the sign. This is a 100% blame the driver, not (oh lets put in a turn around as Kelly suggests).

pretzel

From my view sitting in a car the bridge looks pretty low, from a tractor how in ............can the driver not clearly see that big thing he/she is pulling behind them is just a bit high to make it through? As for the one's who manage to stop prior to whacking off the top of their trailer and damaging the bridge maybe they should install NOT dangling toys but a bar of equal strength at either side that FORCES them to not turn. Quit playing games and get it done.

KellyAlzan

Many of the commentors here write as if these truck drivers want to drive a $175k tractor and a $40k trailer through a bridge that is too low.

watson4sherlock

12' 6" is a very low bridge. The next lowest on the published list is 13' 5" at Western Maryland Railway Bridge at Paw Paw.

MD 75 North/South from MD 80 to IS 70 beginning 8/3/2007
Railroad Bridge between MD 80 and I 70 has 12'6" vertical clearance

MD 75 East from MD 80 to BALDWIN RD beginning 8/1/2013
No trucks allowed on MD 75 between Baldwin Rd and MD 80 either direction.

See http://www.chart.state.md.us/routerestrictions/routerestrictions.asp

watson4sherlock

MD 75 is a North/South road not an East/West road. It appears truck traffic was banned from the road beginning 8/1/2013.

digdugmd

A truck traveling east on a north/south road will almost always cause a problem.

watson4sherlock

I would say it doesn't travel very far.

gnfan231

No need to worry the new Monrovia town center and all the housing development will resolve this problem and everything else. The developers will spend as much money as it takes to fix all the current road issues.

flynnd

If they run 75 through the commuter parking lot straight to Rt. 80 they will actually fix this problem.

rcfoster

What are the excuses that the drivers are giving for why they still drive down that road even with all the signage? What is telling them that it's okay. If its the GPS, then that can be corrected. If it's something else, then maybe THAT can be corrected.

KellyAlzan

The drivers do not need signs, they see the signs.
The drivers need a place to pull over after they make the turn onto 75.
And they need a place to turn around.
This is such an easy fix.
What's happening is the drivers make the turn onto 75. They see the signs and they assume there will be a means to turn around. So they continue to drive, not with the intent of going under the bridge, but with the intent of turning around before the bridge.
Give these trucks a pull off place and or a turn around place and the problem will be solved.

watson4sherlock

There are numerous signs before 75 telling them not to make a right turn and the red and white strips hanging down hit their truck. Before they get to the bridge they've missed four places to turn around.

1) Right after they hit what is dangling down the road has a right turn lane so the road is three lanes wide and there is another sign on the right warning of a 12' 6" bridge ahead. Then there is a paved driveway on the left. This is their opportunity to turn around. After that the road goes to two lanes.

2) A little farther down there is another road with some equipment and a flat bed truck parked off to the side on a gravel parking lot. The sign by the mail box says pool water. But a little farther in is a sign which says No Trespassing NO TRUCK TURN AROUND. Gee I wonder why trucks want to turn around here.

3) At the 15 mph sign there is a driveway to a house.

4) There is another 15 mph sign with a road narrows graphic just after a shared driveway with about six mail boxes on the right hand side.

Just before the bridge there is another sign warning 12' 6" and a very narrow driveway on right. If you've come this far, it is too late to turn around and there's no room to put in a truck turn because there is a concrete wall on the left and trees on the right.

Comment deleted.
matthewboh

[thumbup]

soule1061

If there's a way around the overpass to get to Costco, why isn't it posted? SHA has put a multitude of signs telling truck drivers where they can't go but none showing an alternate route. Truckers see the cleaance numbers and they think, I can make that. But the numbers are false. The roadway undulates going under the overpass and the truck gets caught in the middle. SHA can't seem to understand this simple fact in the poor construction of one of their roads! The obvious - and permanent - fix would be to lower the roadway under the overpass by six inches but this is never mentioned. Neighborhood opposition to something like that is immaterial. MD75 is a State Highway and should be open and available to all comers.

watson4sherlock

The rail road bridge is private owned and they must have paid for a permit to build it at the height were it is. Maybe the ground has settled since the bridge was built or the height of trucks as increased.

The path to the Depot is simple. Get off I-70 on Green Valley Road, take a right on West Baldwin Road, then take a left on Intercoastal Drive.

The path back to I-70 is simple. Take a right off of Intercoastal Drive onto West Baldwin Road then take a left on to Green Valley Road back to I-70.

KellyAlzan

You are 100% correct. It's the way the grade lays if the grade were perfectly level - the trucks could go under the bridge.

fourofsix2003

theres nothing wrong with the grade.Its the people driving the trucks,post limits in SPANISH,and the incidents will drop.mark my words.

watson4sherlock

To pass a driving test you have to read road signs in English. Not only that these people must have a Class A drivers license so they have additional training.

See http://www.mva.maryland.gov/Resources/DL-151.pdf

watson4sherlock

A 13' 4" truck will not fit under a 12' 6" bridge.

watson4sherlock

The average height of a tractor trailer is between 13' and 13'6'. Some states allow trucks to be as high as 14'. The higher limit is usually for trucks transporting vehicles.

See http://www.ask.com/question/tractor-trailer-height

watson4sherlock

...it will fit in a 14 foot door unless you get snow build up in front of it but the ceiling needs to be higher so the door has room when up for all the track,and the lighting if installed,16 ft is probably minimum for inside,most semi trailer will be around 13 ft 4 inches with low profile tires...

See http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070410125654AARC4V6

kingesquivel

Breaker one-nine, good buddy...go ahead and drop the hammer. No smokies that I can see....[wink]

NASCARLOVER

Costco bound and down, c'mon bandit....

Comment deleted.
fredneckforever

[sleeping][yawn][sleeping]

jerseygrl42

It appears this problem has largely occurred since Costco warehouse was built, why not require Costco to station a traffic person at the exit point to guide those drivers who are obviously either not paying attention or can't read away from a right turn departing the site. They could also provide written guidelines to their suppliers as to how and where their drivers must approach the site and assure that all drivers receive a copy of those guidelines

darththevader

So it's Costco's problem the truck drivers are stupid and ignore the signs?

daveinhtown

Why doesn't the SHA hire someone to sit there and direct trucks from not going that way? Instead of the ramifications of a truck going down that road and causing more damage and cost, and taking away multiple agencies from assisting in this situation but to have an SHA employee on both ends of 75 to watch trucks.

watson4sherlock

What are the hours of the depot? 24/7 at $15 per hour plus benefits. Only cost the taxpayer what $218,400.

Plus won't they need to build a shelter with plumbing; another $100,000.

No problem. Where can we send the bill?

darththevader

So it's SHA's problem the truck drivers are stupid and ignore the signs?

simonsays

They need to make an exact template out of large steel I Beam steel stock, this need to be the exact measurements as the opening on the bridge, to the mark, height, width, and this needs to be placed just shy of the intersection at Baldwin Rd, both sides of the bridge, this way if they dont fit thru it, they wont be able to proceed to the bridge. If the truck, trailer gets stuck before the bridge, they can easily be dealt with, this procedure of getting the truck out from under the bridge is costly, and we the tax payers, pay for it, one way or the other. When the truck gets stuck under the mock up entrance, faster response for the Tow Company, and the proper agency, State Police, Sheriff's Office, ETC, thus not having to delay any rail traffic, and traffic can still pass on the road while the truck is getting removed from the barrier. This "simple" yet effective mock bridge approach entrance has been in place for a long time, for example, all of, most parking garages in a large City, ones that are under buildings, have barriers before you get into the Garage, same concept here, and again, this is a very effective system, and cost very little to make. With all the money that has been spent getting trucks unstuck, there could have been at least a dozen of these replaceable barriers made
Further more, Costco should be applying some of the fee's allocated to the barriers, and truck removal, they should get fined every time a truck gets stuck, they are the "DIRECT" source of the problem, we very, and I mean, once in a Blue Moon, had a issue at this little rural Historic railroad Bridge before this massive warehouse came to New Market
I worked for Costco for 18 years, numerous locations, and the receiving dock staff had to make sure EVERY truck driver knew their route in and out, if not they would contact the distributor, transporter, for inbound shipments, and outbound trucks, a simple flyer given to the driver before he/she leaves the location alerting them of any obstructions, low wires, bridge clearance's etc
Costco has product Buyers in their main offices in Sterling Va, Cascade Parkway to be exact, VP, and CEO of eastern divisions resides there as well, they NEED to be contacted about the issues at the bridge
Back to the "Buyers", these individuals who deal directly with the Logistical Company's who transport the goods to the Warehouse in New Market, schedule drop off times, they can make it an effort to let the Transport Company's know about the Low Bridge, and simply give the company a "Shipment Route" to follow, if this is requested, the company MUST follow the selected Route, and look, BAM!!!! WHALLA, problem solved
We cant let Costco come in and bust up our town, they wanted to build this massive distribution warehouse here, we let them do it, but they should abide to our requests to keep the Truck Traffic to a set specific route
Maybe Costco should build 2 little Guard style buildings on both sides of the bridge, staff them, use radios between the 2, keeping watch for Tractor Trailers trying to pass

harleygirl

I agree with Kelly VV I also suggest there should be a HUGE beam placed over/across the roadway that will do damage to the truck should they continue beyond the signs alerting them of the low clearance. This process will protect the bridge because the trucks would be stopped BEFORE they get there.

If you proceed, you will pay the price [thumbup]

watson4sherlock

Are the taxpayers going to pay for the repairs to the truck?

darththevader

Harley, go one step farther. If they trigger the over height detectors they are ignoring it should flatten their tires

watson4sherlock

That could work. I've seen signs that say if you proceed after this point serious tire damage will result. But you still have a truck with 18 flat tires sitting in the road blocking traffic.

Comment deleted.
watson4sherlock

It's already left it's load at Costco. You're going to get what you're waiting on.

wvacountryroads

And just where are the going to put a truck turn around? I do not think any property owner wants to completely devalue their property to created a turnaround. 1 the fine is too small 5000 might deter them. 2 Drivers ignoring the signs have no business driving these big rigs. If they get stuck and need extraction then they loose their license on the spot.

gb4baseball

Though it's probably too expensive, instead of all these band-aid fixes which aren't working, a long term solution could be to regrade the road a foot lower (with appropriate drainage) so the trucks could go under the bridge.

chuckasaurus

Or...not drive trucks over 12' 6" on the road...

KellyAlzan

The drivers do not need signs, they see the signs.

The drivers need a place to pull over after they make the turn onto 75.

And they need a place to turn around.

This is such an easy fix.

What's happening is the drivers make the turn onto 75. They see the signs and they assume there will be a means to turn around. So they continue to drive, not with the intent of going under the bridge, but with the intent of turning around before the bridge.

Give these trucks a pull off place and or a turn around place and the problem will be solved.

turdferguson21701

^ Please stop trying to look at this logically. Frederick County doesn't tolerate such rational analysis.

watson4sherlock

The drivers are trying to get back to I-270 without going back to I-70. Taking 75 saves them 12 miles; 8 miles versus 20 miles.

Maybe their GPS is taking them that way. Maybe we need to tell the GPS companies no trucks on 75.

Comment deleted.
watson4sherlock

Done.

watson4sherlock

If your device is up to date -- or if you are concerned about errors on other people's devices -- use the links below to report the problem directly to the map makers.

■Tele Atlas Map Insight Corrects devices by TomTom, Apple, etc.
■NAVTEQ Map Reporter Corrects devices by Garmin, Nokia, etc.
■Google Maps: Report a Problem or Fix the Map Corrects the popular mobile app
■OpenStreetMap Project Corrects MapQuest and other services

See http://www.gps.gov/support/user/mapfix/

Comment deleted.
Reader1954

Kelly what you are saying makes sense. You would have to think its drivers taking that route for the first time are the ones getting in trouble. Maybe something more needs to be done to educate the drivers leaving the warehouse. More signage about that there is no turnaround etc.

fredneckian

I would hope it is first time drivers. If there is a repeat ther license should be revoked on the spot..

watson4sherlock

Why would the drivers take a right turn knowing they will have to turn around when the road back to I-70 is to continue forward then take a left.

If they are getting paid by the load then they don't want to waste time.

watson4sherlock

Clearly the answer is to hire more illegal aliens because only they want to do the work no American wants; go back to I-70 instead of getting stuck under the bridge.

KellyAlzan

This problem well know to all in the area and all at Costco.

Barrick quarry in woodsboro had a problem with their contract drivers turning left from 194 at the wrong turn. Very dangerous.

So what the quarry did is they posted a notice at the scale house saying "any trucks caught turning at such point will be permanently banned from the quarry on the spot".

Costco needs to be neighborly and make sure every driver leaving their premises is well aware to stay off of 75. Now trucks coming to 75 - that's a different story.

discreetboi21705

There are signs miles away of the height restriction.

NASCARLOVER

How do you know what their "intent" is???? [thumbdown]

KellyAlzan

Being the owner of large trucks, it's not uncommon to turn onto a road only time met with a no "thru trucks sign", weight limit signs, etc.

Once the truck makes the turn they're on the road.

So what I myself have done is I continue to drive ahead until I find a place to turn around.

This area has no place to turn around.

This area has no place for a truck to pull off to the side of the road.

The signs are large. But the problem is not so much that the drivers ignore the signs, the problem is they have already gotten on the road.

The signs also need to say "no turn around" "no pull off".

watson4sherlock

You can see all the signs along the road warning trucks not to take the turn from the satellite image on maps. There is contraption hanging over the road that has dangling red and white bars that hit their truck if they take the right turn. That's when they should turn around.

The confusion I see is that the signs say "max fine $500" which might suggest they can make it through but if they get caught the fine might be less than $500 so it's worth the risk to save 12 miles.

rcfoster

If you start up the wrong direction on a one-way street, do you continue up until you can find a place to turn around? Usually you stop immediately and try correct the mistake, not just carry on throwing your hands in the air say 'Oh Well...."

discreetboi21705

They know well ahead of time that they can't clear the underpass. There are signs miles away. They are just to stupid to obey the law.

darththevader

Really?? Why would they assume there is a turnaround?? The signs say not to go that way at all

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