A squat bridge in Marysville that has been the bane of truck drivers for years claimed another victim Wednesday.
A tractor-trailer carrying cardboard got wedged under the low railroad overpass and closed B Street, also known as Highway 70, requiring motorists to detour around the area through midafternoon, police and transportation officials said.
A big rig got stuck at the same railroad overpass in March, closing the road for more than two hours. Another truck hit the same trestle last year and spilled cans across the roadway, according to KCRA.
The overpass has a clearance of 14 feet 1 inch.
Gilbert Mohtes-Chan, Caltrans spokesman, said such incidents occur about half a dozen times a year at the location, despite signs warning truckers of the low clearance early enough to allow them to detour via side streets.
“There are plenty of signs, but for some reason, drivers tend to underestimate the height of their vehicle,” Mohtes-Chan said.
The railroad bridge is owned by Union Pacific, which usually sends personnel to inspect for structural damage after each incident. Damage to the bridge typically amounts to scratches to the abutment, he said.
Because the railroad owns the bridge, Caltrans’ ability to remedy the situation is limited, Mohtes-Chan said. The best solution would be for Union Pacific to replace the aging bridge with one that would provide clearance for the large big-rig trailers, he said.
Jeff Degrass, a Union Pacific spokesman, said the railroad has been in discussions with Caltrans about the clearance problem.
“It is on our radar,” he said. Possible remedies, he said, include greater outreach to the trucking industry, improving signage, lowering the road bed or replacing the bridge.
“It will be a group effort,” Degrass said.