Author Topic: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem  (Read 12967 times)

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Offline SeanB

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #150 on: January 11, 2018, 08:17:55 am »
Simplest would be to close the bridge underpass, though that would likely result in a large number of complaints by the people who have to detour around it then. Other than that there is pretty much nothing you can do economically.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #151 on: January 11, 2018, 08:20:58 am »
I must say that I'm honestly fairly surprised by the responses on this forum. I thought the engineering type would be much more practically inclined, rather than moralistically. I learned something.

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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #152 on: January 11, 2018, 08:38:04 am »
"...the bridge cannot be raised because doing so would require the tracks to be raised for several miles to adjust the incline. North Carolina Railroad doesn’t want to pay for the enormous expense it would entail.
The bridge cannot be lowered either because there is a major sewer line running only four feet under the street."

Prices for bridge work and Civil engineering projects are just insane. My municipality paid $250M for an overpass over a 6-lane road.

Take 126 incidents with an average repair cost/insurance claim of $10,000 and that's $1.26M of damages.
It's still nothing compared to costs to bring this 1940 mess up to modern standards.

pic from Mark Clifton
It costs money, but isn't undoable. They've raised entire bridges many times larger then this one a few feet not too far from here not too long ago. Obviously, just viewing it as an economical matter isn't quite right either. That's where the governmental ethics come in. Though I can understand that the money might simply not be there. The ageing US infrastructure is a topic that has people worried and it seems to be a matter of fighting a large array of problems with limited resources.

Apparently there's another underpass with a similar story. This one doesn't seem to have a beam in front of it. The video shows some pretty violent crashes, including trucks that veer into the oncoming traffic, a firetruck getting stuck and a fire that engulfs the rails above. It seems that this one has racked up nearly 100 crashes in roughly 7 years.

https://youtu.be/V3-UugI0JoA
https://youtu.be/Fc0avTFZrvA
 
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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #153 on: January 11, 2018, 09:06:35 am »
The results of this bridge are more satisfying. Rips the roof clean off, and it even takes down cars!
 

Offline Kalvin

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #154 on: January 11, 2018, 09:35:25 am »
Develop a mobile phone application which will get as input the height (and weight) of the vehicle and the estimated route. The application will then show whether the route is safe for the vehicle. The application may also calculate the route from current navigation data and warn the driver when the route ahead will contain unsafe bridges and obstacles. Just send 5% for me for this idea from your gross income what you will get from this application idea ;)
 

Offline BrianHG

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #155 on: January 11, 2018, 10:24:35 am »
The results of this bridge are more satisfying. Rips the roof clean off, and it even takes down cars!
? What do you mean.  What are you talking about?  The other 11' 8'' bridge had many tops of trucks, at least 4, so perfectly cut off, it was like peeling an apple all the way through and including the rear door.  Even at the end, the truck which turns safely away, then backs up and makes a u-turn in traffic, then turns the other way into the bridge.  How can you beat that?

Examples:
https://youtu.be/USu8vT_tfdw?t=22
https://youtu.be/USu8vT_tfdw?t=33
https://youtu.be/USu8vT_tfdw?t=69
https://youtu.be/USu8vT_tfdw?t=280
https://youtu.be/USu8vT_tfdw?t=531

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Online Rerouter

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #156 on: January 11, 2018, 10:42:41 am »
Hmm, not to be one for policy in other parts of the world, but could it be changed by 3 inches? the structure under the bridge looks like it could be replaced to be at least 3 inches thinner, as it appears most of the impacts on these sites miss by about 2 inches, so grazing the roof rather than slicing it.

e.g. making an economic decision to reduce rather than solve?
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #157 on: January 11, 2018, 11:07:57 am »
Hmm, not to be one for policy in other parts of the world, but could it be changed by 3 inches? the structure under the bridge looks like it could be replaced to be at least 3 inches thinner, as it appears most of the impacts on these sites miss by about 2 inches, so grazing the roof rather than slicing it.

e.g. making an economic decision to reduce rather than solve?
Add some teflon sheets while you're at it. Slide on through! ;D
 

Online Zero999

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #158 on: January 11, 2018, 11:16:16 am »
Language issue? Running a red light isn't a language issue.
Not necessarily in this case, but running red lights isn't always the driver's fault. Quite often it's the way the traffic lights are programmed which is to blame. If there are multiple instances where the signal is red for a long time, yet the road is clear and it's safe to pass, drivers will start to pay less attention to red lights. There are plenty of instances where I live of traffic signals remaining red for so long, I could walk there and back several times, which is very frustrating. The worst lights are the ones near where I work, which need an additional left turn signal, as it's often safe to turn left, but not go straight ahead, so the light remains red.  It becomes very tempting to just run the red, especially when one is in a hurry (OK, that's a bad excuse I know). The solution is to keep the time on red, when the road is clear, to an absolute minimum.

In this case, a gate before the bridge could be installed, which stops every vehicle and only opens, when it's safe to pass and the vehicle has been scanned to ensure it's not too high. This will not stop some drivers from smashing through it, but it will cut the number of accidents further.
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #159 on: January 11, 2018, 12:29:26 pm »
Please explore the google maps and street view of this intersection to see why that can’t work. (Though I’ve explained it in prior replies.)

(Edit: fix typo)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 12:20:42 pm by tooki »
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #160 on: January 11, 2018, 01:06:02 pm »
Please explore the google maps and street view of this intersection to see why that can’t sork. (Though I’ve explained it in prior replies.)
Looking around the neighbourhood I'm a bit confused why this overpass is such an issue. There's some imitations on space to take into account, but there's also a lot of room to play with.

What might work is having railway gates instead of the LED sign that's currently there. If the system detects a vehicle that's too high, the gates close and traffic gets diverted to the crossings further down the tracks until the vehicle is gone. Though I don't think getting fancy is the best solution. If you insist on not spending a lot of money, you might consider closing the underpass for motor traffic completely. There are two crossings nearby and the town layout doesn't seem to dictate the use of that road too much.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #161 on: January 11, 2018, 04:24:01 pm »
It's as if they know. Posted today, an article about the failing infrastructure of the US.

https://hackaday.com/2018/01/11/local-infrastructure-the-devil-is-in-the-details/
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #162 on: January 11, 2018, 06:00:48 pm »
There can be many factors in these crashes.  Many years ago while working my way.through university I drove a  truck.  During training a story was related about a driver of a regular route who was retiring, and took a trainee along on his route for few trips before his last day.  The trainees first solo day came and he nervously started the route.  At a low underpass he cautiously proceeded and got the roof peel.  It turned out the retiring veteran consistently took the route at speed and the dip compressed the springs enough to get through.  For many of the drivers at this bridge it may have been the first unloaded or lightly loaded trip.  Others may have rented the same model truck multiple times before and got surprised by new springs or a different tire profile on the most recent truck.
 
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Online Zero999

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #163 on: January 11, 2018, 06:12:04 pm »
There can be many factors in these crashes.  Many years ago while working my way.through university I drove a  truck.  During training a story was related about a driver of a regular route who was retiring, and took a trainee along on his route for few trips before his last day.  The trainees first solo day came and he nervously started the route.  At a low underpass he cautiously proceeded and got the roof peel.  It turned out the retiring veteran consistently took the route at speed and the dip compressed the springs enough to get through.  For many of the drivers at this bridge it may have been the first unloaded or lightly loaded trip.  Others may have rented the same model truck multiple times before and got surprised by new springs or a different tire profile on the most recent truck.

I agree. People will take risks and if they get away with it 99.99% of the time, they'll keep doing it. If the light was red, but the road was clear and driver got through, without any near misses, hundreds of times, then they will keep doing it. One day, the authority may realise the timing of the traffic light is incorrect and unduly holding up the traffic, so they reprogram it, to give less red time. Now the same driver runs the red and boom, there's a nasty accident.

Please explore the google maps and street view of this intersection to see why that can’t sork. (Though I’ve explained it in prior replies.)
Looking around the neighbourhood I'm a bit confused why this overpass is such an issue. There's some imitations on space to take into account, but there's also a lot of room to play with.

What might work is having railway gates instead of the LED sign that's currently there. If the system detects a vehicle that's too high, the gates close and traffic gets diverted to the crossings further down the tracks until the vehicle is gone. Though I don't think getting fancy is the best solution. If you insist on not spending a lot of money, you might consider closing the underpass for motor traffic completely. There are two crossings nearby and the town layout doesn't seem to dictate the use of that road too much.
Yes, I see no reason why there can't be a gate before the bridge. It would certainly stand out more than the side and red light. In this case, it might not have made any difference, but it will certainly have prevented other accidents.

It's as if they know. Posted today, an article about the failing infrastructure of the US.

https://hackaday.com/2018/01/11/local-infrastructure-the-devil-is-in-the-details/

I can see your point: if accidents keep happening, then the poorly designed road and bridge are to blame.

I can also see the other side: it's the driver's fault for ignoring the warnings.

I think in this instance, no one has been killed or seriously injured, just damage to property, which the insurance companies paid for. As you say funds are tight, so it makes sense to spend the money in other areas, where there's a far greater risk of serious injury or death.
 

Offline Nerull

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #164 on: January 11, 2018, 06:14:27 pm »
Every person who hits this bridge is running a red light. They should be taken off the road before they kill someone.

Mr Scram provides an excellent example as to why people hate engineers - because he, personally, is ignorant of any problems, it must mean those problems can't exist.
 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #165 on: January 11, 2018, 07:26:53 pm »
Every person who hits this bridge is running a red light. They should be taken off the road before they kill someone.

Mr Scram provides an excellent example as to why people hate engineers - because he, personally, is ignorant of any problems, it must mean those problems can't exist.

Nerull, having a bad day?

It's hard to brake rapidly with a truckload of stuff. We could put everyone who runs this red light and hits the bridge into an electric chair.
A bit harsh perhaps, but still not a solution.
 

Offline glarsson

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #166 on: January 11, 2018, 07:49:09 pm »
It's hard to brake rapidly with a truckload of stuff.
If you run a red light, FIVE seconds after it turned red, because you could not break then you are driving way to fast.
 
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Offline ez24

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #167 on: January 11, 2018, 08:14:21 pm »
Develop a mobile phone application which will get as input the height (and weight) of the vehicle and the estimated route. The application will then show whether the route is safe for the vehicle. The application may also calculate the route from current navigation data and warn the driver when the route ahead will contain unsafe bridges and obstacles. Just send 5% for me for this idea from your gross income what you will get from this application idea ;)

I think this is a good idea.  The rental companies could require the customer use the app or pay extra if they decline.
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Offline floobydust

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #168 on: January 11, 2018, 08:30:25 pm »
It's hard to brake rapidly with a truckload of stuff.
If you run a red light, FIVE seconds after it turned red, because you could not break then you are driving way to fast.

Drive it like you stole it ! That driver left the truck there and fled the scene  :palm:

The traffic light doesn't immediately turn red if the overheight warning is activated.


 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #169 on: January 11, 2018, 10:29:23 pm »
All this discussion has triggered an actual idea relative to OPs question.  A current max height display unit for the cab of the truck. Might help a little in situations like this.  The main market would be the rental companies who would use it to establish liability for the damages.

Would use sonar or other similar sensor to measure chassis to ground distance, which would be added to a programmable chassis to top of truck distance.  Probably would need a sensor at each primary axle.  The rental company or other vehicle owner would be the one with the password to program the chassis to top distance, which would have appropriate margin added.

A shock sensor would permanently record the current displayed height when an event occurred.  This information would aid in recovering damages from the renter. 

The whole thing could be tied into the cell phone app mentioned previously which accesses a database of overhead restrictions.   This could trigger an additional audio alarm when something bad is predicted by the combination of route, restriction and actual height.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #170 on: January 11, 2018, 11:29:00 pm »
Might make more sense to just put a sign on the bridge that says NO TRUCKS because even if it does fit, the margin is so tight that it's not worth the risk.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #171 on: January 12, 2018, 07:34:03 am »
Simpler would be for the rental companies to put a sign prominently in the rental vehicles indicating the height of the unloaded vehicle, so the driver is aware of this being a large vehicle with restrictions on routes. Then again, most time the renters probably did not take the full insurance option, as it is a big part of a single day rental price, and often is not shown in the advertising for the prices, and thus they are liable for all accident costs.

From discussion on the comments on the page there is a strong likelihood the rental companies come out ahead, older vehicles hitting the bridge get written off, and the driver has to pay for a replacement vehicle as compensation, unless they took the insurance, which the rental company then use as payment on a new, higher value, rental unit. Newer vehicles will be repaired though, still coming out with a new body on it. As most are generally out of state that hit, or day rentals going through, the locals obviously are well aware of the limitations of the bridge, even though there is a municipal bus route that goes under it the bus is definitely low enough to clear it.

By me there is a double deck tour bus that runs regular, the metro has trimmed the trees to allow clearance, though when they ran the route the other way they did do quit a lot of large branch removal.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #172 on: January 12, 2018, 07:44:20 am »
Nerull, having a bad day?

It's hard to brake rapidly with a truckload of stuff. We could put everyone who runs this red light and hits the bridge into an electric chair.
A bit harsh perhaps, but still not a solution.
He's just trying to pick a fight. Don't feed the troll.
 

Offline BrianHG

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #173 on: January 12, 2018, 05:27:50 pm »
9 new ones, take a look at the last one...  :-DD
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #174 on: January 12, 2018, 05:36:42 pm »
There must be something up with those lights. There's plenty of green lights in there, but a couple of red lights too. Idiots who ignore the red light? In some cases, many cars are driving through it as if it's not there. I'm not buying that four drivers run a red light in tandem intentionally. There's one or two that obviously do, mind you.

In some cases the overheight sign isn't even on.
 


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