11 Foot 8 Schadenfreude.

At the corner of Gregson and Peabody streets in Durham, North Carolina, lies a railroad trestle with an infamous history. The 11-foot-8-inch underpass, also known at the “can-opener bridge,” has seen hundreds of truck collisions over the past eight years. And Jürgen Henn has captured nearly every one of them with a surveillance camera and posted them online. A local celebrity, Henn and his 11foot8 website provide a delightfully painful reminder to pay attention to what’s around you—and to never underestimate your truck’s clearance height.

Via Great Big Story. I do love the Crash art, but I’m odd that way, with my collection of swarf, and other odd things which always end up in my pockets during a walk.


  1. rq says

    Aaaahahahaa… One of the city center overpasses occasionally takes a victim, but never this dramatically (it’s usually a halfway stuck kind of situation rather than can-opening).

  2. says

    This one certainly claims a lot of victims. I guess people really don’t think about that when they’re driving a truck. I wonder if they even notice the sign.

  3. Czech American says

    A lot of them appear to be rental trucks. Those are driven mostly by people used to being in cars where they don’t have to think about things like this.

    I’ve found lately that I sometimes need to laugh at absurd and banal things as an antidote to current events, but I can only wince at this. People’s self-posted pictures of their own kitchen screw-ups are more my speed right now.

  4. johnson catman says

    I wonder if they even notice the sign.

    I used to live within a couple of miles of that RR overpass in Durham. Over the years, there have been several attempts to prevent the over-height trucks from getting demolished. The latest (a couple of years ago) was a sensor a couple of hundred yards before the intersection that would immediately turn the traffic signal ahead red. It may have prevented some, but definitely not all, of the crashes.

  5. says

    There’s something like the exact same situation where I live: old railway bridge, lower than average truck height, many, many signs. Fortunately, few accidents as it is just behind a traffic light so most drivers have a minute to realise that this doesn’t work.
    But I tell you, I hate every single one of these drivers with a passion. They cannot turn around, so they need to call the police, the police has to stop all fucking traffic going in and out of the village in all directions so the lorry can drive backwards to the next crossroads from which it can go around that bridge. Everybody who lives here has lost some hours of their lives in a magnificent jam due to this.
    One problem is GPS devices. There are some specifically for lorries, but they cost 3 times as much as a usual one just for a tiny additional set of data the companies have anyway*, so they all just go with the normal car version.
    The bigger problem is that the drivers then switch off their brains and decide that they no longer need to read signs.

    *We looked into this because it would be hand when towing the caravan. It was incredible. 600 buck upwards…

  6. DonDueed says

    There’s one like this in the Boston area too. The local police set up cameras and would post the video of the crashes, which occurred around once a month, in hopes of educating the public and reducing occurrences. They recently stopped doing that because the underpass is now scheduled for rebuilding to increase the clearance.

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