Seattle acts on Alaskan Way viaduct truck strikes

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 8:33 PM



Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) officials are taking action after an exclusive story uncovered by the KING 5 Investigators.

The investigators found a low underpass under the Alaskan Way viaduct is being  repeatedly struck by tall trucks travelling below. Workers at a nearby business had several pictures of trucks stuck under the underpass and video of them pulling out with the tops of their trailers peeled back.

City transportation engineers say the damage to the underpass is cosmetic and that the trucks got the worst of it.

Spokesman Rick Sheridan also explained the underpass is clearly marked with warnings that it is only 10 feet, six inches high at its lowest point, and he said it is the responsibility of the truck drivers to know their height and read the signs.

But the investigators were able to show there is very little reaction time for truckers once they turn off of Elliot on to Blanchard. The underpass us just a few yards pass the intersection.

Sheridan said his team decided since truckers seem to be missing a warning signs before they turn, they will add a new sign that alerts drivers in clear writing that if they turn they will encounter a low underpass.

Sheridan said engineers constantly study the safety of the viaduct and the repeated collisions in the underpass have not caused structural damage.
 

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