Nearly a week after a close shave with a big rig, Wyndham Street between Carden Street and Wellington Street is open again after city engineers did... Something. Well, there are new signs up now. No big trucks are allowed through, but buses, ambulances and other vehicles are all good to go.
So the problem was that the clearance level wasn't properly marked? Apparently, the clearance has now been set at 3.8 metres as opposed to the previous height clearance level , which I believe was 4.1. But what a difference .3 of a metre is considering that a total of five trucks had to squeeze themselves under the bridge for city hall to realize that there was a problem. Was this unavoidable? Considering that this roadway was closed for so long, why were city engineers so off about the bridge's clearance height? My feeling is that the city wants to sweep this under the rug as soon as etiquette will allow, because the entire focus of the press release below is on the fact that the road is once again open. (But big trucks will have to drive around.)
Here's the city's press release:
Guelph, ON, October 25, 2013 – The Wyndham Street bridge underpass is now open to vehicular traffic, with the exception of heavy trucks.
The City erected temporary signs this afternoon to convey that heavy trucks are not permitted to travel beneath the Wyndham Street bridge and opened the road to vehicular traffic. This is an interim measure to allow the roadway to be re-opened to vehicular traffic. The prohibitive truck signs will be in effect for Wyndham Street between Fountain Street and Carden Street.
“Both the clearance of 3.8 metres and the truck restriction are clearly marked on the Wyndham Street bridge, and the City is working with Guelph Police Service to communicate these restrictions to truck drivers”, explained Don Kudo, interim general manager of Engineering Services.
Heavy trucks are defined in the City of Guelph’s Traffic Bylaw.
“It appears the trucks involved in incidents under the Wyndham Street bridge were over 4.0 metres in height. Given that, the City is working with Guelph Police Service to increase communication and education targeted at truck drivers, as well as taking the necessary precaution in signing the bridge as a no truck route and keeping the clearance at 3.8 metres”, said Kudo.
Guelph Transit, fire and ambulance vehicles will continue to be allowed to use Wyndham Street.
The bridge is structurally sound, will continue to be used by train traffic and pedestrians can travel beneath it safely.
Wyndham Street from Carden Street to Wellington Street was closed by Guelph Police service on Friday, October 19, after a truck scraped the bottom of the crash beam, despite the updated 3.8 metre clearance signage.
Since the crash beams were installed on October 11, five incidents of transport trailer trucks scraping the crash beams were reported to Guelph Police Services. The incidents were minor and there were no injuries. No non-commercial vehicles have hit the bridge.