Crash bars expected for Glenville railroad bridge by summer

The bridge recently (top right) and a truck that struck the bridge in January (bottom left)

The bridge recently (top right) and a truck that struck the bridge in January (bottom left)

Canadian Pacific Railway is planning to have crash bars in front of Glenridge Road Bridge by early summer to stop trucks from hitting and damaging the bridge. 

“Over time, truck impacts can shorten the lifespan of a bridge,” said Andy Cummings, the manager of media relations for CP Rails. “The beams will help to absorb truck impacts and minimize effects on the bridge itself.”

However, if the company wants to install crash bars it will need to get approval from the state Department of Transportation.

“The New York State Department of Transportation continues to have positive discussions with the Town of Glenville about reducing bridge strikes at the Glenridge Road Bridge,” said DOT Spokesperson Bryan Viggiani. “We have not received any proposals from the Canadian Pacific Railway to install anti-strike devices at this location and would need to review any such proposal.”

Cummings said the company is planning to apply for lane closure permits to install the bars. Cummings did not indicate when that application would be sent in.

Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle told board members and the public on March 17 the company wanted to install crash bars and said that he was told by a field engineer the bridge couldn’t handle another hit. 

The bridge’s 10-foot, 11-inch clearance is too low for many commercial trucks. Big rigs coming off the Northway and headed toward Glenville Center sometimes hit it, but many who hit it are non-professional drivers operating rental trucks, Glenville police have said. The crashes cause damage to the truck and sometimes the bridge, and backs up traffic until the truck can be removed.

However, CP Rails is denying that claim. 

“CP is committed to safety and would not operate trains over a bridge if it were not safe to do so,” Cummings said. “Any time a truck makes contact with a CP bridge, CP immediately sends a qualified railroad bridge inspector to verify the bridge is safe for operation before restoring train service. Any damage to bridge components is repaired based on results of post-bridge-strike inspections. Commercial drivers are responsible for obeying signs calling out overhead clearances on roadways.”

Viggini said the DOT inspects the bridge after each incident and is safe for travel. 

Cummings said the bridge is an active railroad corridor for freight and passenger trains.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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