Business & Investment

Illinois DOT explores initiatives to reduce bridge strikes

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The Illinois Department of Transportation is pursuing two pilot initiatives aimed at reducing bridge strikes by heavy trucks.

Bridge strikes occur when a truck driver crosses under a span that is too short to accommodate the height of the vehicle.

One initiative, called “audible turn-by-turn navigation,” will allow IDOT to electronically share approved route details via a cloud-based app that is compatible with mobile devices. Currently, drivers tend to read information about route details on their mobile phones and printed documents. The IDOT system allows drivers to hear route instructions without looking away from the road.

The second initiative under development will be located at the Maryville Weighing Station west of Interstate 70, using HawkScan oversized vehicle measurements to measure cargo load as trucks approach scale. The system. Then use the measurements from the camera and sensor to see the permission details. The HawkScan system is designed to measure and classify vehicles in normal traffic flow.

“If all of the permits are accurate in the information collected, the driver is allowed to continue without stopping,” said Chief Genoceller of the IDOT Permit Unit. “Both projects are very exciting and [oversize and overweight] The industry is looking forward to their success. “

Audible turn-by-turn technology is almost ready for the spotlight. According to Koehler, the GIS data provider will fix some format issues and update the IDOT team shortly. At that point, IDOT will continue to test the system, and if successful, allow several carriers to try the system and compare the technology with written instructions. If no further issues are detected, the agency will implement the system later this year.

Illinois Truck Legal Dimensions and Weight Chart Along Transport topic With Scribd

The Maryville Weighing Station, temporarily equipped with an oversized vehicle measurement system, is located in southwestern Illinois, about 20 miles from St. Louis. So far in 2021, Maryville’s weighing station has processed 48,100 trucks, according to IDOT. Koehler said the weighing station is at a pace to reach about 200,000 trucks this year. In 2020, the weighing station was closed for about a quarter of the year, processing 141,032 trucks. This figure represents a decrease from the 2019 level when 292,634 trucks were seen at Maryville’s weighing station.

Bridge strikes have serious economic and safety implications. IDOT estimates that an oversized load bridge strike with trucks and farm equipment costs about $ 400,000 per repair. These incidents cause traffic jams, detours, closures and safety issues.


Matt Hart, Executive Director of the Illinois Trucking Association, said many farm equipment passes through Illinois and drivers may not be aware that they are traveling on routes that include low-clearance bridges. Farm-related transportation is important to the state. According to IDOT’s Illinois Department of Transportation, the top export products include grain and animal feed.

According to the agency, IDOT’s District 5 has experienced nine bridge collisions in the last 19 months. These strikes ranged in repair costs from $ 25,000 to $ 3 million. Located in eastern central Illinois, District 5 includes the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area.

The economic impact can also affect the truck industry. One of the problems Hart has identified is a towing company that charges a lot for trucks stuck under low-clearance bridges. According to Hart, he saw a job costing nearly $ 100,000. He said the issue is especially common in the Chicagoland area, where old infrastructure is located.

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“It’s pretty disappointing if you have a truck hitting one of these bridges and you’re already upset enough, but you’re taking advantage of that situation to tow these truck companies for tens of thousands of dollars2 There are two companies, just to get the vehicle out of its low-clearance bridge, “Hart told Transport Topics. “They know that out-of-state trucks are not familiar with the area and can hit these bridges. After safety, this is also an economic problem.”

IDOT’s recommended precautions include measuring cargo load, staying on permitted routes, and ensuring the required permits. Hart recommends making sure that drivers with allowed loads stick to the routes provided by IDOT.

“Traveler safety is a top priority at IDOT,” said Carl Puzey, IDOT’s bridge and structure engineer. “Reducing accidents, including bridge strikes, is very important. Bridge strikes are costly in terms of accident and post-accident response, bridge repairs, and traffic disruptions. Reducing bridge strikes. It helps improve the safety of travelers and protects their valuable infrastructure. “

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Illinois DOT explores initiatives to reduce bridge strikes Illinois DOT explores initiatives to reduce bridge strikes

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