Big Rig Vs. Overpass
By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
November 1, 2018
The recent accident involving a big rig and its too-tall
payload smacking into the Applegate Overpass on Highway
99 is a dangerous road mishap that is not all that surprising.
Several months ago, another semi truck and trailer got
wedged under an overpass in the Bay Area, and tied up traffic
The cost of such accidents is hard to calculate. The overpass
may have to be replaced in Atwater, however, the cost in
terms of business to merchants in the area is anyone's guess.
One might ask, "Do these kinds of accidents need to
occur?" or could they be avoided by a fairly simple
change at the weighing station?
Why can't a steel eye-beam be installed at the truck weigh-in
stations with the maximum height a truck and semi can be;
and then force all trucks to drive under it?
With such an eye-beam, the latest accident could have been
A truck driver friend also said he could have prevented
the 3 to 4 hour back up on the Bay Area freeway by simply
letting the air out of the tires, so the truck could be
backed up, and then once the truck was free, inflate the
tires so the truck can be driven to an area where it could
Truck transport in California and the valley is so important
that stopping it for even a short time can be costly.
For even a small community like Atwater, the city is having
to add up the economic loss in sales tax. It could throw
the budget off, and increase the debt of the city
Pinning the problem on the truck drivers is not fair, as
many times they simply pick up the trailer which has already
been loaded by someone else. That is why it’s so important
to have a method to double check the height of each truck
Highway Patrolmen would not be overly inconvenienced as
trucking companies would probably install their own eye-beams
at the exit of their loading docks.
The freeways would have one less problem to deal with,
and the poor motorists on US 99 would be given a break.
Let's see if we can get Caltrans on board for an easy solution
to an ongoing problem.