Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Over-height Vehicle Detection System the be piloted on Centre Street Bridge

With an average of almost four crashes a month into the underside of the Centre Street Bridge, The City of Calgary is taking action.

Today, The City of Calgary will pilot a new over-height vehicle detection system on Riverfront Avenue, east and west of the Centre Street Bridge lower deck to put an end to vehicles crashing into the bridge.

The over-height vehicle detection system alerts motorists when their vehicle is above the height required to clear the bridge or lower deck - flashing warning messages to advise motorists that their vehicle is too high to pass through the area safely. The system is intended to avoid crashes that result in delays to commuters and costly repairs to the bridge.

The over-height vehicle detection system is expected to reduce overhead collisions by 60-80 per cent, and will save The City and citizens an estimated $330,000 per year in maintenance, operating expenses and delays in travel time.

“This is the first over-height vehicle detection system in Calgary, and we expect it to be very effective in preventing collisions involving over-height vehicles in this area,” said Gord Elenko, Acting Traffic Manager. “The flashing warning sign will let people know in advance if their vehicle is too high to make it under the bridge or the lower deck, providing the opportunity for drivers to take an alternate route rather that hit the bridge.”

There are an estimated 40 incidents every year in this location as a result of trucks and other large vehicles becoming wedged under the bridge deck. City crews are then required to shut down the area until they can assess and repair any damage and extract the vehicle, often creating lengthy traffic delays.

If the pilot of the over-height detection system proves to be effective on Riverfront Avenue, it may be implemented in other locations throughout the city.

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