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Tractor-trailers hit New Haven’s James Street overpass two days in a row

An Amtrak bridge in New Haven has a new height warning sign after tractor-trailers slammed into it…two days in a row. But, new signage might be only part of the solution.

NBC Connecticut spoke with Sean Cummings, who hit the road with the Bubba’s Brunch food truck in October. When he got the truck, someone suggested getting a truck-specific GPS.

“Before I got it, I was driving in circles to avoid every bridge I could think of,” Cummings said.

It cost him a couple hundred bucks online and saved him the headache of getting stuck routes on routes with low bridges.

He turned on the Garmin mounted to his dashboard and plugged in details on his 11-foot-7 truck. He then picked a destination.

“See how it says there’s a 12-foot height limit? That’s because it’s warning me about the bridge that’s right outside the parking lot here,” Cummings said.

That warning from the GPS was for the Amtrak bridge on James Street where tractor-trailers slammed into the overpass two days in a row this week.

The bridge is located just off of Interstate 91. Drivers approach the bridge immediately after making a right onto James Street from the highway off ramp. There are no other turns.

If truck drivers don’t see or ignore the four road signs between the off ramp and the bridge and turn right, they’ll get stuck on James Street. The U-Haul parking lot frequently doubles as a U-turn.

“They’d come in this way and kind of drive all the way around and try to come back out the exit,” said Fred Johnson, the U-Haul general manager. “It backs up the entrance for our customers being able to come in. We got to sometimes have [the trucks] wait and have customers drive around. It can be a pain at times.”

The state has two highway signs on the off ramp and the city has two on James Street. One of each was missing Thursday morning.

After NBC Connecticut made a few calls, the missing height warning sign on the I-91 off ramp was replaced by the state Department of Transportation. One of the city’s two warning signs approaching the bridge on James Street was mangled. That one was also replaced.

Representatives said they weren’t aware their signs were missing or damaged. Physical road signs help truck drivers across the country in the moment, but electronic height warnings in standard mapping apps don’t exist.

“But for the most part, Google Maps, it gives you a lot but not a lot of warnings on low bridges and stuff,” Wayne Little, a trucker from Texas, said. He’s been behind the wheel for 20 years and said those types of programs should include bridge heights for those that have been around for decades.

He also said you have to use a lot of knowledge and experience to avoid roadway problems, pointing out that in most places he drives, he sees warning signs in advance and he’s never had to call for help.

“Where you have to call the trooper and have them escort you out? No, I haven’t,” Little said.

Cummings said he drives his truck around New Haven and Milford and believes the best way to go is with a trucking GPS.

“I’m actually kind of surprised at how many trucks do get stuck under bridges,” he said. “I would just assume that every big truck driver is probably using it and I’m surprised they don’t.”

This article was originally published by a www.nbcconnecticut.com . Read the Original article here. .

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