Author Topic: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem  (Read 12527 times)

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Online tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2018, 03:55:58 pm »
I concur.  I've driven a couple of larger vehicles - but these occasions have been few and far between.  I have been driving smaller vehicles (up to the size of a Tarago) for years - but I have to consciously remind myself of the height of the truck - and more importantly the height above my eye line.  It's not a foot any more - it can be four feet or even more and tree branches that were never a problem, suddenly present themselves as real obstacles.
Reminds me of when I was in Guatemala 2 years ago and went up the Pacaya volcano. I was sick with bronchitis and too short of breath to scale it on foot, so I rode on a pony. His name was Muñeco. On the way back down, we took a shortcut down a steep path through the forest, and Muñeco happily ducked under branches without slowing down, oblivious to the extra 3 feet of height above his back! :P Despite me needing to hold on due to the steep angle, I had to use one arm to swat away branches before they took out an eye (and then the other), LOL! Fun times!
 

Offline Maxlor

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2018, 04:06:02 pm »
It's funny, yet unsurprising how people insist on the reason being "stupid", while the statistics and psychology tell another story. Obviously, claiming moral superiority feels good, and people love pointing fingers and shake fists, but that doesn't mean it's right. It's a lesson aviation learnt a long time ago, but surprisingly hasn't quite trickled down to driving or the general public. You could put the death penalty on hitting that bridge and it's unlikely the numbers would be much different.
I think whoever is responsible for the bridge has sufficiently accounted for that. People drive on (mental) autopilot or while being distracted by stress all the time, but they still recognize traffic lights; they have have the notion of red->stop down unconsciously. So the traffic lights should suffice.

Maybe some people are somewhere else entirely with their thoughts, and don't even notice the red lights, i.e. their mental autopilot actually isn't aware of them. But in that case, this particular red light probably isn't the only one they missed, they're unsafe drivers. Having a crash like this to hopefully serve as a trigger for updating their training doesn't seem so bad; maybe next time, they won't run the lights on an intersection where they can hit other cars.

I wonder whether some people maybe consciously run the red lights ("they only turned red a second ago, I'll just slip through!") in which case, I don't mind them having their antisocial behaviour pointed out to them by an unrelenting steel bar.
 

Online tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2018, 04:17:38 pm »
It's funny, yet unsurprising how people insist on the reason being "stupid", while the statistics and psychology tell another story. Obviously, claiming moral superiority feels good, and people love pointing fingers and shake fists, but that doesn't mean it's right. It's a lesson aviation learnt a long time ago, but surprisingly hasn't quite trickled down to driving or the general public. You could put the death penalty on hitting that bridge and it's unlikely the numbers would be much different.
It’s simply not feasible to eliminate every hazard from everything everywhere. Regardless of whether you call it stupidity, obliviousness, distractedness, inattentiveness, or any of a gazillion psychological effects, at some point you have to draw the line of practicality and trust that most people will behave correctly.

Heck, even aviation, which has indeed eliminated tons of sources of mechanical and human failure, is now at the point where crashes are rare, but when they happen, they’re almost always human error now, despite checklists and procedures and simulator training.

I think whoever is responsible for the bridge has sufficiently accounted for that. People drive on (mental) autopilot or while being distracted by stress all the time, but they still recognize traffic lights; they have have the notion of red->stop down unconsciously. So the traffic lights should suffice.
I seriously doubt any such consideration was given, because that bridge was built in 1940. I don’t think tall trucks were even an issue then.
 

Offline Maxlor

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2018, 04:22:59 pm »
I think whoever is responsible for the bridge has sufficiently accounted for that.
I seriously doubt any such consideration was given, because that bridge was built in 1940. I don’t think tall trucks were even an issue then.
I meant the add-on bits, not the original bridge. Height sensor, traffic lights, interactive sign.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2018, 04:26:20 pm »
If it were simple, they’d have done this. Raising a railroad track? Forget it. You can’t just bump it up two feet for a quarter-mile or something, because those big freight trains cannot handle steep inclines, especially not somewhere where trains stop (which they do around there). If it were a street bridge it’d be easy to raise, but this is freight rail. You’d probably have to raise the rail bed for miles on either side, which would be enormously expensive (and possibly cause other problems).

I’d be more curious about the pipes, since I would assume something could be done. But if they haven’t done it after a century of accidents, there’s damned well a reason for it.

The city is under no obligation for every road to be passable by every vehicle. This hazard is marked for blocks in advance, overheight sensors, etc. They’ve done more than enough to warn drivers of the hazard. At some point, a driver has to take responsibility!!


Main road? Port? Whaaa? It’s actually a small surface road in an old downtown, in a city that’s about 150 miles inland. Map link below.

Low tech solution: a steel beam hung (by chains from poles so it's still free to move) an inch or two lower than the bridge a few tens of feet before the bridge. Colliding with it will make a loud noise, but with far less damage than colliding with the bridge itself.

Can’t do that, because it’s an intersection, and the cross street does not have height restrictions. Literally anywhere earlier than where it is would block trucks from places they have to go. There’s no room widen the road to make an island or a separate turning lane, it’s an old downtown, with the street flanked by buildings.

Here’s the location: https://goo.gl/maps/RsFdX3dwLCF2
It being a freight rail bridge doesn't really matter. I know this, because they raised a bridge a whole lot bigger not too long ago not far from here. You'll inevitably need to raise to of the embankment too. It'll take an investment, but it shouldn't be an unreasonable. However, that's where we get to the second bit.

The city might not be under an obligation to make the road passable for every vehicle, but they have an obligation to make things safe. I understand the underpass hasn't been built to modern standards, or any standards at all, as these didn't exist when the thing was constructed. Despite the signage, accidents continue to happen at a significant rate, so we can only conclude things aren't safe. Apparently, the surrounding related infrastructure is dangerous as well, actually occasionally claiming lives. It's not about eliminating every hazard from everywhere, but eliminiting a hazard that trips people up consistently. If droves of people keep falling from your stairs each year, there's a point where the story it's all on those people falls apart.

Where the boundary of it being the responsibility of the city is exactly is up for debate, but I think the bridge being famous for its accident prone nature the world over tells us something. It's not known for being a perfectly mundane underpass. However, it's probably a classic case of not caring too much because they're not footing the bill. As long as other people get stuck with the bill, why would you spend your money on it, even though the total cost is probably bigger this way? It's ugly, but it's how the world often works. If it's not your problem, it's not a problem. Though it surprises me no one has sued the city into the ground yet.
 

Online tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2018, 04:48:13 pm »
I guess we won’t agree on this. As I see it, with the signaling that the city has put in (which has significantly reduced the number of accidents, by the way), it’s done more than enough. Numerous studies have been done and continue to be done, it’s not as though they’ve been negligent.

I’m pretty sure that most people would agree that people have to take responsibility for their actions at some point. (Yes, I know, you’re one of the exceptions.) But look at this video: the guy blasted right through a red light — one that had been red for some time. That would have been a major moving violation even if the truck hadn’t been overheight!

There are plenty of intersections, road segments, etc. that for whatever reason are accident magnets. Some can be mitigated, but some danger is simply inherent to the activity.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2018, 04:58:28 pm »
I guess we won’t agree on this. As I see it, with the signaling that the city has put in (which has significantly reduced the number of accidents, by the way), it’s done more than enough. Numerous studies have been done and continue to be done, it’s not as though they’ve been negligent.

I’m pretty sure that most people would agree that people have to take responsibility for their actions at some point. (Yes, I know, you’re one of the exceptions.) But look at this video: the guy blasted right through a red light — one that had been red for some time. That would have been a major moving violation even if the truck hadn’t been overheight!

There are plenty of intersections, road segments, etc. that for whatever reason are accident magnets. Some can be mitigated, but some danger is simply inherent to the activity.
From what I've read, they are actually contemplating finally changing the underpass, though they want to try flaps first. That sounds a lot like they know what the proper solution is, but just don't want to spend the money.

I'm sure there are jerks causing accidents, but it can't all be jerks or it would be some jerk fly trap. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and the proof says there are a lot of accidens happening here, many more than elsewhere. It's the same people as elsewhere, so that can't be it. It must be an issue with the spot itself. Rather than fruitlessly trying to change the people, the obvious solution is to change the spot. Bringing it up to standards would be a good start.
 

Offline xygor

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #57 on: January 08, 2018, 05:02:19 pm »
It appears to be a non-standard road sign.  Are the signs preceding it standard?
Could it be a language issue?
 

Online tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #58 on: January 08, 2018, 05:08:17 pm »
It appears to be a non-standard road sign.  Are the signs preceding it standard?
Could it be a language issue?
What part of it is nonstandard?!? Looks absolutely normal to me. You can use google street view (link to the spot is in a prior comment of mine) to see the signage on the surrounding roads.

Language issue? Running a red light isn't a language issue.

 

Offline MarkS

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2018, 05:13:05 pm »
The issue is driver training. Most of the vehicles that hit are straight trucks, moving vans and RVs. Straight truck drivers receive minimal training and do not need the same license and certifications as a combination vehicle driver and depending on weight, may not need a CDL at all. We semi drivers consider them a menace and avoid them at all costs. People driving moving vans and RVs most likely have a standard license and have never driven anything bigger than a pickup truck. Overheight is a term that just doesn't register with these drivers due to lack of training, and/or experience.

The semi drivers that hit this have no excuse.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 12:13:33 am by MarkS »
 
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Offline xygor

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2018, 05:26:16 pm »
It appears to be a non-standard road sign.  Are the signs preceding it standard?
Could it be a language issue?
What part of it is nonstandard?!? Looks absolutely normal to me. You can use google street view (link to the spot is in a prior comment of mine) to see the signage on the surrounding roads.

Language issue? Running a red light isn't a language issue.
:palm:
You're right! It is a standard sign.  I was talking about the lit one.  I guess I fail.  No truck for me.
 
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Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2018, 05:43:09 pm »
Round here we have an issue with councils putting 'goalposts' over car park entrances to stop our local version of the Edema Ruh from camping in them. (Ours are neither very musical, not do they clean up after them, that is the issue.)

Thing is, these things also deny the use of the car park to people with larger vehicles who have no intention of camping.   :--

This could be an argument against the goalposts, that experience shows height limits to be a hazard in themselves.   

Electronic solution? Well, the 1500VA UPS will power the large angle grinder, no problem.  :clap:
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 05:47:08 pm by IanMacdonald »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2018, 05:55:34 pm »
- The signage is confusing. The driver  is probably still trying to understand the grammar of "OVERHEIGHT MUST TURN" when he hits the bridge.

- The actual height limit sign is small in comparison to the above one, the driver probably doesn't even notice it while trying to decode the other one. If you asked him, he probably wouldn't have even registered the figures.

That is only the last set of warnings.  There are signs for blocks before that to warn of the impending trouble.  One set even has the detector on it and flashes warning lights on the signs (even well before that last intersection intersection) that basically say "YOU ARE OVERHEIGHT!  YOU MUST TURN!"

People still smash into the bridge going through the red light.  :palm:
It is a typical case of providing too much information so the message gets completely lost.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2018, 05:57:14 pm »
Only see an opportunity, open a shop right after the bridge, that sells only rolls of extra-large sheet plastic to cover the unfortunate "openings", with a hefty price tag of course.
 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2018, 06:00:41 pm »
Even though we might disagree on whether this road is dangerous enough to shift the blame from the driver onto the road authority, I think we all agree that this road section is more dangerous than most others, right? I think we also agree that there is a point where a road becomes so dangerous this shift of blame does happen, right?

Maybe it'd be interesting to find out how many accidents have to happen before this is the case in our respective books? One every month? Every week? Every day? Are deaths maybe required and if so, how many? Or is there some monetary threshold?
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2018, 07:04:34 pm »
 There is ZERO cause for any of those crashes besides drivers being idiots. Notice most of them are small box trucks - those are almost ALL rentals, and I'd be willing to bed more than half of them are just everyday idiots trying to move themselves to a new house and they think they are still just tooling around in their car. And there are the other part time large vehicle drivers, those motor homes and travel trailers that wipe out rooftop accessories.

Three blocks worth of warnings plus an automatic red light - seriously, ANYONE driving through a red light like this one did, there is NOTHING you can do to not make that person a hazard on the road. If they don't hit this bridge, then they'll hit someone else, if they just blindly drive through a red light.

There's one near me, not only is the clearance low, the bridge is only 1 lane wide (and the road is two way). There aren't anywhere near this number of accidents there, and there are no electronic measures like they've put up here. A few hundred feet from one end of the bridge is another intersection - nothing special there except signs saying no left (or right) turn for vehicles over a certain height.

Then there are the "pro" drivers who aren't really pros yet - as in not far out of truck driving school. In the US you can tell them, as they most often drive for one of about 3 different carriers (the only places that will hire these inexperienced drivers) plus they ALWAYS follow the GPS. We have some roads that trucks over a certain size are supposed to be banned from. Mainly because the road is hilly and has sharp turns. However, you frequently find a truck there, they ignore all the signs saying they are not to turn left off the main road and do it anyway - because it's a short cut and the GPS wills how it as such. There are no clearance problems, they just block traffic up horribly, plus it was part of adding the additional warehouse space in the neighborhood that they would block trucks from this road and make them access the warehouses via a different route off the main highway. Still -  there goes a truck that shouldn't be on this road. And another... the MAJORITY go around the way they are supposed to, you have to wonder about the one guy in line who sees 5 other trucks keep going while he's turning onto the road he isn't supposed to be on.
 
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Online tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2018, 07:44:18 pm »
By the way, a lot of the suggestions here are actually covered on the 11foot8 FAQ: http://11foot8.com/faq/



- The signage is confusing. The driver  is probably still trying to understand the grammar of "OVERHEIGHT MUST TURN" when he hits the bridge.

- The actual height limit sign is small in comparison to the above one, the driver probably doesn't even notice it while trying to decode the other one. If you asked him, he probably wouldn't have even registered the figures.

That is only the last set of warnings.  There are signs for blocks before that to warn of the impending trouble.  One set even has the detector on it and flashes warning lights on the signs (even well before that last intersection intersection) that basically say "YOU ARE OVERHEIGHT!  YOU MUST TURN!"

People still smash into the bridge going through the red light.  :palm:
It is a typical case of providing too much information so the message gets completely lost.
Though that phenomenon can be real, it’s not the case here: it significantly reduced the number of crashes. So clearly many of the affected drivers are seeing the warning and taking appropriate action.

Besides, this guy ran a red light. You don’t need a message to know that means “stop”, regardless of why!





 

Online tooki

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2018, 07:47:56 pm »
Maybe it'd be interesting to find out how many accidents have to happen before this is the case in our respective books? One every month? Every week? Every day? Are deaths maybe required and if so, how many? Or is there some monetary threshold?
Give it a rest, dude. Nobody’s biting.

FYI, it seems to be about one such crash per month. Very few injuries, no deaths AFAIK. It’s not this hellish deathtrap you seem to have twisted it into in your mind! (Heck, I think the real worry was about damage to the railroad bridge, since any damage to the tracks could cause a derailment, which could wreak havoc and cause true death and mayhem.)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 07:52:14 pm by tooki »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2018, 08:03:39 pm »
Just 15 crashes a year could very easily come down to just the people driving trucks who are absorbed in their mobile phone and not looking where they're going. Given the number of people I see on the roads every day who are engaged in just about anything you could imagine besides watching where they're going, I have no problem believing these accidents are almost all negligence and/or incompetence. So many accidents could be prevented if people would simply pay attention and be aware of their surroundings. In the US at least it's too easy to get a driver's license and too easy to keep it even after demonstrating negligent behavior.

I would not even bother with electronic solutions, just paint the side of the bridge with very obvious red and white reflective stripes and keep the traffic signal that turns red for over-height vehicles. Beyond that you can't fix stupid, and given nobody seems to be dying I'm not overly concerned about it. Anyone who does hit it will be stuck with a hefty bill to repair or replace the truck and any damage to the bridge should be their responsibility as well.
 
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2018, 08:09:50 pm »
It doesn't matter what is done. There are always the less intelligent of us all, born from a mother and father who are also their  aunt and uncle, that will always do idiotic things like what's going on with that bridge.

You can't stop stupid from doing stupid things.

I can't help but think of this guy. I'd like to see him drive his scissor lift under that bridge.  ;D

 
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Offline Avacee

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2018, 09:47:40 pm »
With regard to the insurance aspect I noticed this in the recently linked FAQ.

Quote
Will insurance cover the damages?
Most truck rental insurance policies specifically exclude overhead damage from coverage. However, a good auto insurance or liability insurance might pick up the tab. Check with your agent. Or even better – don’t hit the bridge!

I wonder if paying for the truck damage out of their own pocket results in an ever so slightly less unfocused mind in future  :-+
Nah, probably not. Stupid people seem to stay stupid.  |O



« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 11:14:28 pm by Avacee »
 

Offline station240

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2018, 11:03:34 pm »
They should add a large sign with an illustration of the truck box getting shredded by the bridge.

Painting giant teeth on one bridge didn't stop it eating trucks.

East Maine Bridge 11 foot 4
http://kfor.com/2016/01/07/just-about-every-kind-of-truck-in-town-has-hit-it-enid-bridge-infamous-for-semi-crashes-has-own-facebook-page/
https://www.facebook.com/TheEastMaineBridge/

Including this 'happy' customer
Quote
Well, this was my elderly parents.
Glad your backwoods redneck town has a bridge that a standard delivery vehicle can't go under.
Even better that your city leadership thought it was cool to paint shark teeth on it and not actually fix the bridge to be accommodative to the modern world!

Fantastic that your dumbass police force takes this special opportunity to issue citations!!
Hope I get the opportunity to jest when your parents are victimized in my town!
Hope their blood pressure spikes like my mothers did and I hope it caused a rash of shit between your mother and father due to the loss.
Best help your 71 year old father up on the ladder to measure the height of their rig.
Be proud Enid. Be proud.
Be sure to congratulate them on the cancellation of their vacation to Colorado too while you are at it!
Hope someone in your town finds a little maturity and considers the jobs it's cost and the damage to property and lives.
Fix it dipshits.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2018, 11:45:01 pm »
Here's my idea,
To get a driver to stop, have a pop-up lol. Actually a pop-down.

It could be a roll down strip-curtain, or airbag-like deployed poster that blocks the driver's way, but soft so they can drive through it if they are extra stupid. It would be strips so that you can see past it.
Or maybe like targets they use at firing ranges, but coming down from the top.

The truck's speed and distance to the bridge, driver reaction time and braking distance probably mean there simply isn't enough time to do much.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2018, 12:11:28 am »
The water barrier and projected stop sign is about the best actual suggestion I've seen; again, it's not going to help drivers that aren't paying attention (or texting, or completely fallen asleep), but maybe it would catch just that next little part of the bell curve.

Tim
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Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How would you use electronics to solve the 11' 8" bridge problem
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2018, 12:26:06 am »
Painting giant teeth on one bridge didn't stop it eating trucks.

Maybe not, but it sure did increase the entertainment factor for us spectators.
 


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