A truck driver destroyed his tractor-trailer after using his personal GPS and finding his way onto the Bronx River Parkway in Westchester, where he struck a low-hanging bridge, tearing his truck bed apart.
On Tuesday, Nov. 26, a driver who failed to use a commercial GPS and ignored, or didn’t pay attention to multiple signs and pavement markers warning of the bridges and struck the bridge at approximately 11:30 a.m. in Yonkers, county police said.
The tractor-trailer was heading south when it struck the Cross County Parkway overpass. The impact tore the roof off, which landed in the right lane of travel.
The right lane of the Bronx River Parkway had to be shut down for several hours so the roof and other debris that sheared off could be cleaned up. The cargo the driver was hauling also needed to be hauled away from the area.
Bridge strikes have become a problem in Westchester in recent years, prompting officials to invest $25 million to reduce the number of strikes on state parkways. Since 2015, there have been more than 600 strikes, causing injuries, traffic delays and damage to overpasses, which often require repairs.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the $25 million is earmarked for “new state-of-the-art technologies and automated devices -- including dual infrared beams, audible bells, and warning signs with flashing beacons -- to warn drivers of immediate danger.”
While sending warnings directly to commercial vehicle operators, the new tech would also push notifications to law enforcement agencies in the area. There will also be a “significant” increase in penalties for drivers who disobey the height warning devices, which are currently being tested in the Hudson Valley.
According to Cuomo, New York State parkways traditionally have bridges that are lower than the standard legal bridge clearance. Commercial vehicles, school buses, tractor-trailers, and other tall vehicles are prohibited from driving on parkways.
“Bridge strikes are not only a public safety concern, but also cause significant delays on high-traffic parkways across New York,” the governor said. “The State has taken aggressive action in recent years to reduce the frequency of these crashes including installing new over-height detectors and warning signs on parkways, but more needs to be done.
"This proposed funding will bolster our efforts to curb bridge strikes and enhance the safety and reliability of critical highways across the state."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.