Commercial Trucks Are Damaging This Minnesota Tunnel
The size and dimensions of commercial vehicles are both a blessing and a curse. While they make it easier for truckers to deliver the goods US consumers depend on, the bulky measurements can also pose a threat to certain infrastructure.
The roads, bridges, and other areas which are not designed for truckers seldom have problems with commercial vehicles doing damage. Many of these areas are inaccessible to commercial trucks, and warning signs are usually posted to alert drivers about restrictions on what type of vehicle can continue through a given area.
Unfortunately, not all areas escape harm.
One tunnel in the state of Minnesota has sustained repeated damage from commercial trucks, leaving authorities in the area to wonder whether or not drivers have gotten the memo about this area being off-limits to heavy trucks.
Delivery trucks, semi-trailers, and over-the-road busses have not been staying out of Lowry Hill Tunnel, despite warnings about the reworking of the area.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently reconfigured the lanes within the tunnel, slimming traffic lines to ten feet in width and putting all traffic on one side. Large vehicles, especially those transporting over 9,000 pounds, present a very real danger in the newly redesigned tunnel.
Just two days after the changes were made one truck struck an overhead light fixture and damaged electrical equipment. This led to one lane being shut down for an hour and a half.
A spokesman for the state’s DOT said that the issue is a matter of truck drivers either not knowing or not caring. He encouraged everyone to pay attention to the allowed clearance signs, as failure to do so can result in dangerous accidents.
When the crew was working to resolve the issue, other trucks came through the tunnel and almost hit them. Some were close enough to knock over traffic cones sectioning-off the work area. Drivers who did this were cited with a $300 ticket. Speeding has also been a problem in the tunnel, with police handing out over 60 tickets to drivers who failed to obey the 40 MPH limit.
Officials have sent information to trucking associations and rest areas, alerting drivers about the changes and suggesting several alternate routes.