'Can Opener Bridge' repeatedly ripping tops off of trucks

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by CNN

CNN

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 12 at 10:20 AM

NORTH CORALINA -- A low bridge in North Carolina is shaving the tops of trucks. In fact, it happens so often one man has made it a mission to document the moment of impact.

It's a bridge over troubled traffic. A bridge too low, for trucks too tall, and for the past 5 years Jurgen Henn has been using cameras to record the results, and posting them on his website "11Foot8".

That happens to be the official clearance of the Gregson Street railroad trestle in Durham, North Carolina, affectionately known as the, "can opener bridge."

Some vehicles just get a shave, others get stopped cold. For nearby businesses it can be, "Almost earth shattering and people jump out of their chairs." Some get off easy; an RV loses its AC, a pod gets left behind.

The trestle is a working railroad bridge and sometimes trucks hit as a train passes by. The railroad, Norfolk Southern, installed a crash beam to protect the century-old bridge, so the bridge always wins.

Not only has Jurgen uploaded about 60 crashes, he also collects pieces of debris and sometimes gets drivers to sign them. "Just a hobby, you know, to have some fun." Not so much fun for the drivers.

Authorities know of no serious injuries. Signs start warning of the low clearance several blocks away and vehicles that are too tall trigger the, "over height when flashing," lights, which drivers manage not to see, and don't even think of trying to slowly sneak up on the can opener.

So you say, why doesn't someone fix it? Raise the bridge; lower the road, but the sewer main runs right under the highway and the bridge would cost millions to raise. So the “can opener” keeps racking up hits that YouTube enjoys putting to music, like "Rocky," and "The good, the bad, and some ugly crashes."

It's enough to make you want to burn your bridges, before the bridge burns you.

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