New year, same bridge, the Glenville bridge struck by a box truck Thursday night

FILE - The aftermath of a December strike.

FILE - The aftermath of a December strike.

GLENVILLE – A box truck hit the Glenville bridge Thursday night, marking the first time the bridge has been hit so far this year.

The incident happened Thursday night around 8:15 p.m., Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik said.

“Luckily enough it didn’t get stuck under the bridge,” Janik said. “The bridge just peeled the top of the truck back and we were able to clean it up fairly quickly.”

The truck’s driver was 45-year-old Derek Desmond Smith from Houston, Texas. The truck was a 2016 freightliner shipping truck, owned by BFNL Trucking based in Cypress, Texas.

“In the accident report to the officer he [Smith] says he was coming from Wilton trying to make his way over to the Exit 26 corridor, to head west,” Janik said. “He was following his GPS.”

The driver was issued a traffic citation for failing to obey a traffic control device and issued a summons for the town law violation for failing to obey the height restriction. The driver faces a fine of up to $200 for the traffic violation and up to $400 for the town law violation.

“It’s unfortunate,” Janik said “Because, not only are they [commercial drivers who hit the bridge] getting tickets for these pretty hefty fines, I’m assuming, just assuming, that they’re probably going to be jobless after they contact the trucking company to let them know that their truck is destroyed. Just goes to show you that people need to pay more attention, especially drivers of commercial vehicles need to pay attention to posted signs.”

The truck was heading west into town when it hit the bridge. The road was temporarily closed but reopened about two hours later.

“It’s the same old story, nothing has changed,” Janik said. “It’s just a comedy of errors as far as I’m concerned with how that was engineered, that section of road. The problem is that these drivers of commercial vehicles are not using proper GPS. That’s what is getting them into trouble.”

The Glenville bridge has been hit somewhere between 100 and 125 times since its construction in 2013. The hit Thursday was the first time the bridge was struck this year. It was hit 13 times in 2022, and 22 times in 2021.

The bridge is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway. The road drivers travel on, Glenridge Road, is a DOT-maintained road.

@dgazette The Warnings – Glenville Bridge, westbound approach.  – Daily Gazette


A number of signs and flashing lights have been put in place to warn drivers of the 10-foot, 11-inch clearance height. DOT completed a truck turnaround area along Glenridge Road immediately east of the bridge in July.

DOT will be implementing a laser detection system this 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.

“I think it [the detection system] will be done probably earlier in the spring, than later,” Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle said. “I think a lot has to do with bidding it out, the availability of parts, we have no control over that, DOT has no control over that either.”

Categories: -News-, News, Schenectady County, Scotia Glenville

4 Comments

P.S. To clarify: I understand the roadway, etc. under the bridge was modified in 2013 — but the bridge/underpass itself was there long before 2013.

Pre 2013 it was a one way underpass and very narrow and I don’t think a truck could have even fit through or at least would have given drivers a lot more time to think about attempting it.

Exactly! So, why is it that truck drivers can’t just use whatever routes were used prior to the 2013 road reconfiguration? Drivers may blame GPS; I’m inclined to blame DOT for continuing to allow trucks on Glenridge Rd. Which is more of a hardship for drivers: taking a longer route to their destination or wrecking their rigs and (likely) losing their jobs?

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