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The Hutchinson River Parkway

The ''Hutch'' is one of the older Parkways in NYC.It begins just off the Whitestone Bridge and goes north through the Bronx into Westchester County.It is designed for passenger cars only; no trucks or buses are permitted on this road. The reason for this is that there are a few low bridges on this highway, and 18 wheelers just can't clear them. The most notable of all is the Westchester Avenue Bridge, seen above facing North.As you can see, there is a posted clearance of 10' 4'' and as evidenced by the damage to the underside of the bridge,alot of trucks foolishly tried to squeeze underneath. Let me discuss a few examples of this if I may.

The problem basically is that truckers exiting the Whitestone Bridge often wander onto the Northbound Hutch instead of 95 North or South.About 3 miles north on the Hutch is the foreboding Westchester Avenue Bridge,seen below.

Above: This out of town trucker brought his rig onto the Northbound Hutch and whacked the Westchester Ave overpass. It seems it was the drivers first day driving for this company,which was based in FL. He was unaware that he was not allowed on the Hutch, and ripped his trailer to shreds. He bolted out of the cab and ran from the scene before police arrived, so it would be safe to say he no longer works for that trucking company. As many of you know, the Westchester Ave bridge is quite low on both sides--the Northbound side has a 10'6'' clearance and it is not uncommon for truckers to come off the whitestone Bridge and wander onto the Hutch. NYC put up 17 signs before this low bridge, warning truckers to get off the parkway, yet truckers continued to hit the bridge. The next idea was to put a series of lights on the base of the arch, and the idea was that truckers driving at night would see these lights and stop in time. The actual result was that every light was knocked off the bridge by misplaced truckers. OK, so what does the city do? They spend an enormous amount of money and install a ''overheight vehicle sensor warning system''. Essentially a sensor has been embedded at the side of the road and calibrated to a specific height, lets say 9'2''. Anytime a vehicle higher then 9' 2'' passes the sensor, it triggers a HUGE sign that is suspended across the highway that says something like ''YOU ARE OVERHEIGHT!! EXIT 100 FEET LOW BRIDGE AHEAD!!''

The sign,seen above, is similar to the ones in Yankee Stadium or on the Whitestone Bridge.It is red and really bright and I cannot hazard a guess how much money was squandered on this system, but it went into operation on or about January 2004. For a few months all was quiet, but this morning as I approached the Westchester ave bridge I saw that the top of a trailer had been peeled off and was lying next to the roadway.This was a fresh acident, having happened less then 24 hours ago!! Can you believe that truckers are ignoring that new million dollar sensor?

UPDATE 1/19/11

The video below will explain the accident above