AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – Freight workers were out here early Friday morning realigning this bridge here on Olive Road because another truck ran into it. This time around, the driver drove off and some locals I spoke with today say it’s not a city issue, but a driver issue.
“I don’t understand how they keep hitting though,” said Amanda Surgess. She lives off Olive Road.
These images are from another truck hitting the bridge earlier Friday morning. Like Amanda Surgess, many people I spoke with don’t understand why drivers are still running into the bridge on Olive Road.
I just don’t think they’re paying any attention,” she said.
Assistant director of traffic engineering, John Ussery, says they made several changes to Olive Road to warn truck drivers of its low height and hopefully keep them from running into it.
“So, the law requires that we have two warning signs in advance of the bridge and we have over 20 devices between the signs. We added speed bumps and flashing lights. We have gone above and beyond than what we’re required to,” said Ussery.
The city has spent 25 thousand dollars on adding those devices. Back in 2019, it was suggested that a metal structure be constructed before the bridge, so tall trucks wouldn’t hit it. The idea was turned down because commissioners say they’ve spent too much money on it already. Ussery says the bottom line is, drivers just need to be more careful.
“We’ve noticed that a lot of people who have hit the bridge are in moving trucks like a U-Haul truck, and maybe the driver has rented the truck and they just don’t understand how tall it is, even though there is information inside the cab that tells you how tall it is,” said Ussery.
Russell Jordan says his first job out of high school was driving trucks and he believes that whoever runs onto the bridge is inexperienced when it comes to driving commercial vehicles.
“Not just a box truck like a U-Haul, but also a pickup truck with a camper on it, anything that’s over 9ft, and a lot of people that hit the bridge it’s negligence, so they’ll just drive off,” said Jordan.
Ussery says whenever the bridge is hit, freight workers have to come out and realign it, but the question still remains, why was the bridge built so low in the first place?
“It would’ve been better if they built the bridge a little bit higher. It has to do with the slope of the train track, so that probably why it is the way it is,” he said.
Ussery says he doesn’t foresee adding any more signs to the road anytime soon. The best suggestion he can make is for truck drivers to slow down on that road and be vigilant of those signs out there.