I was curious to see how many times in the last year that trucks have missed the “Low clearance 4.0” (metres) height warning and crashed into the guard rail for the rail bridge at Spencer and Flinders Streets, before rolling-over and blocking the intersection.
(Or look on: Google Streetview)
Answer via Google News archive search: at least four times in the last year, including this morning.
17/12/2009 Truck rollover in Melbourne’s CBD causes traffic chaos
24/2/2010 Tram and traffic delays caused as truck rolls on the corner of Flinders St and Spencer St in Melbourne
21/3/2010 Truck rollover blocks intersection of Spencer and Flinders streets
4/10/2010 Truck rolls over in Melbourne CBD
(One link suggested another one in April 2010, but I haven’t found a news report of it.)
For non-locals, this is one of the busiest intersections in central Melbourne, with many cars, buses and five tram routes passing through. The rail bridge is also a key one, with most metropolitan train services using it. Lucky the guard rail is apparently strong enough to prevent the trucks crashing into the bridge itself.
Let’s assume for a moment it wasn’t steering or brake failure. Do trucks have any kind of reminder in the cab of the height of the load? For semi-trailers I assume this would vary from job to job, whereas some other vehicles (the one in February was a garbage truck) would be a fixed-height.
8/10/2010 — It happened again
19/11/2010 — And again
6/5/2011 — Truck jammed under notorious rail bridge
1/8/2011 — Truck trap hits city traffic
5/3/2013 — I’m not sure if it’s been less frequent or less reported, but today it happened again
10/4/2013 — And again:
5/4/2014 — And again:
- Age: Truck slams into Flinders Street rail bridge causing delays
- Herald Sun: Online blogger Daniel Bowen has kept a tally of the number of run-ins trucks have had with the rail bridge in recent years. He updated his list following the latest crash, saying similar incidents had happened at least 11 times in the last five years.
7/4/2015 — Another occurrence: Truck stuck under Spencer Street bridge causes traffic delays — Emergency services responded to a callout to the intersection of Spencer Street and Flinders Street after the truck wedged itself under the rail bridge shortly after 2pm.
Update 21/5/2015 — This Age article notes Metro figures saying the worst bridge in Melbourne is at Napier Street, Footscray, with 43 truck strikes since 2010 (no doubt higher because it’s close to the port). It says the Flinders/Spencer Street bridge has had 11 — which matches my count above.
1/2/2016 — I haven’t tracked these thoroughly during last year, but this might be the first for 2016, affecting the South Morang and Hurstbridge lines, not running via the Loop.