'Can opener' bridge claims its 112th victim, despite new warning lights and safety measures

One of our favorite websites,, served up its 112th recorded crash this week. The website's name refers to the clearance height of a very low railroad bridge in Durham, NC. It tracks how many trucks collide with the bridge at 201 Gregson Street in Durham. Due to the number of accidents, this underpass is now probably one of the most well-marked bridges in the lower 48, yet people are still peeling off the tops of their large trucks like sardine cans by attempting to drive under it.

The site's proprietor, J├╝rgen Henn, works for Duke University in an office that overlooks the intersection. He keeps cameras trained on the troublesome spot, and has since 2008. A month after initially setting up the cameras, Henn filmed his first video of a truck hitting the low-clearance railroad trestle and losing its top. Since then, he's had a steady stream of crash content to post to his site. About once a month, for the past eight years, drivers have smashed into the trestle.

"Today, a white boxtruck conducted a test to verify that the laws of physics do still apply to the 11foot8 bridge," Henn wrote on the site about the latest incident. "If your truck is too tall it will get stuck. Guaranteed. After they spent a half hour deflating the truck's tires they finally managed to back the truck out from under the bridge."

And when we say drivers are well warned of any impending collision, we mean it. There are height warning signs on either side of the road for blocks in each direction approaching the bridge. There's also an overhead height warning sign flanked by flashing lights. Durham recently put up a new digital sign that can sense when a truck is going to bite it on the bridge and warns drivers of over-height vehicles to turn and save the tops of their trucks. Despite doing everything in its power to stop the carnage, the city of Durham can't force people to read its signs. So the crashes continue. Expect the steady stream of videos of clueless drivers jamming their tall trucks beneath this unassuming bridge.

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