Checking Out the Infamous 11-Foot-8 Bridge

There are plenty of warning signs leading up to the infamous '11-foot-8' Bridge in Durham, North Carolina.

There are plenty of warning signs leading up to the infamous '11-foot-8' Bridge in Durham, North Carolina. Michael Grass / GovExec.com

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Too-tall trucks regularly—and sometimes spectacularly—crash into this low-height railroad bridge in Durham.

GovExec State & Local has been in North Carolina this week to check out some stories. Here's our dispatch from Raleigh on Wake County's new transit initiative and our report from Cary on the town's new Aquastar system.

DURHAM, N.C. — The railroad bridge over S. Gregson Street is a infamous one on the Internet. It’s where trucks that are too tall regularly slam into a protective crash bar designed to keep them from damaging the North Carolina Railroad trestle that is immediately behind it.

It’s been called the Bridge of Death and the Canopener Bridge. It’s also referred to as the 11-foot-8 Bridge, a reference to its maximum safe clearance and 11foot8.com, the website devoted to the bridge featuring extensive video footage of truck crashes.

A local resident, Jürgen Henn, has two video cameras watching the bridge and maintains the website, outlining frequently asked questions about the bridge, its warning signs and the frequency of crashes and close calls.

Since GovExec State & Local was heading through town on Tuesday, we decided to check it out. We can confirm that yes indeed, there are plenty of warning signs leading up to the bridge.

But as the bridge’s track record shows, not everyone reads signs.

Here’s a sampling of some of crashes at the 11-foot-8 Bridge.

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(Photos by Michael Grass / GovExec.com)