Glenville bridge claims another Friday, this time an empty box truck – ‘Just ignorance,’ police chief says

FILE - A new sign with flashing lights is installed on Glenridge Road in January.

FILE - A new sign with flashing lights is installed on Glenridge Road in January.

GLENVILLE – The oft-struck Glenridge Road bridge in Glenville – most recently struck by a tractor-trailer Monday was struck again Friday morning.

This time, a box truck struck the bridge at about 10 a.m., police said. No one was hurt, Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik said.

“Twice in one week, the story never seems to change,” Janik said Friday. “I really don’t understand the utter ignorance going on with the amount of signage.”

“I don’t think it’s that hard to understand the height of your truck when you take on a vehicle like that,” Janik said. ”These trucks are obviously 12-to-13-feet in height, and that bridge clearly indicates there is a 10’11’’ clearance. To drive a vehicle and not know the clearance of your vehicle is just, we’re getting down to a point where, regardless of what they may think of where they are being told to go, is just ignorance.”

Janik identified Friday’s driver as 31-year-old Stephon Hood, a Maryland resident. The truck was a 2015 HINO make box truck registered in Virginia which was empty at the time of the incident.

The road remained largely open afterward.

Police issued Hood four citations. He was issued a ticket for failing to adhere to bridge height restrictions, a town code violation, a vehicle and traffic law violation for exceeding clearance, a citation for disobeying a traffic control device and a violation for failing to negotiate railroad crossing insufficient clearance. In total would be facing a maximum of about $1,100 in fines for the charges and potential points on his license, Janik said.

The driver, like many of the others who have hit the bridge in Glenville, was following the directions given to him by his GPS.

“95% of all accidents that involve that bridge are out of state drivers,” Janik said. “And this isn’t somebody who is coming through here for the second time and hitting it again.”

Unlike the majority of times the bridge has been hit, in Friday’s incident the driver was headed eastbound.

The bridge has been hit close to 100 times since it was built, Janik said.

While Friday’s strike came four days after the most recent strike, that time isn’t the shortest between strikes for the bridge. In August, trucks struck it on consecutive days.

This year the bridge has been hit 13 times, Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle said. Explained this number is lower than the 22 times it was hit in 2021.

“It’s one of those things we’re at a loss for now,” Koetzle said. “They’re not paying attention to the signs, they’re not paying attention to the public announcements, the media, anything it seems.”

The state Department of Transportation announced the completion of a new truck turnaround area along Glenridge Road immediately east of the bridge in July.

The turnaround has been installed about 500 feet east of the railroad overpass for westbound vehicles, which is the direction of travel of the majority of vehicles that have struck the bridge in recent years, the state DOT reported in July.

The bridge was averaging two-to-three strikes per month prior to the actions DOT deployed such as the turnaround and additional signage, Koetzle explained. The hits have shrunk to about once a month since then.

DOT will be implementing a laser detection system in spring. The detection system will trip and set off more flashing lights and signs when a truck too tall to pass under the bridge passes through the beam, Koetzle explained.

The bridge is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the road drivers travel on is a state DOT maintained road.

“It’s a huge safety concern, I’ve always said there’s two things, one is very expensive and very hard and that is to raise the bridge. The other is fairly easy, close the road to truck traffic. That would help a lot, but I can’t get DOT to accept that solution,” Koetzle said.

Koetzle explained he has been told changing the truck route would impact too many municipalities, and that it would be difficult for drivers to sustain an alternate route because of the river.

“For example coming out of Clifton Park let’s say you’d have to go down 146 through Rexford,” Koetzle said. “Onto aqueduct, onto Maxon back up Freemans, and they feel that’s just too far, too far for folks to follow, but I don’t think there’s any other options.”

Categories: News, News, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville

One Comment

We have a (even more impressive) counterpart in Durham, N.C. A railroad bridge that’s had close to 200 hits since 2008. for videos. The bridge was 11’8″; it was raised to 12’4″ (plus, you know, all the additional bells and whistles — signage, flashing lights, etc.) . . . And guess what? Yup. Keeps happening.

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