The East Street Bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts has a long history of causing problems for trucks that exceed the height limit posted at the entrance of the bridge. Despite this warning, many individuals have attempted to pass under the bridge anyway—but a majority of those vehicles do not emerge unscathed. The latest victim of this low bridge was a box truck that had its roof scraped off while the driver attempted to pass underneath the bridge despite the various warnings. This incident took place on Thursday, and residents in the surrounding area are not surprised at the latest development.
Westwood Police Officers received a call at approximately 3:00 PM Thursday reporting that a box truck delivering food was traveling toward Route 128 when they struck the East Street Bridge—sheering off the roof of the vehicle. Refrigerator insulation spilled from the truck following the collision and the road subsequently became littered with debris. Local residents say that this is just the latest in a series of events where they have seen a wide range of items spilled across the road following crashes underneath the bridge. Anything from Twinkies to ice cream and now to refrigerator insulation could be found covering the street after a collision. Approximately $40,000 has been spent to provide signs and warnings around the bridge to inform drivers of its 10 foot 6 inch height clearance. The warnings are often disregarded, and Westwood residents and law enforcement officials are left to deal with the aftermath.
On Thursday afternoon, resident Scott Charland said he heard the impact of the crash and was concerned for the safety and well-being of those who may have been involved. Reports have not indicated that anyone was injured in the crash which is a welcomed relief for those who have had to witness so many accidents in the past few years. According to reports, there were 15 crashes at the bridge site in 2014 alone. The East Bridge is operated by the MBTA, as their commuter rail line passes over it. The MBTA also had an incident with one of their buses causing an accident at the same site a few years prior. Efforts have been taken in order to prevent any further damages from arising, but so far it seems as though those efforts have been in vain.
An immediate solution has not arrived to those investigating the matter. The $40,000 worth of signs is going unheeded by the general public. Westwood police officials have stated that they believe that people who are familiar with the area and frequently travel under the bridge by car may forget that there even is a height clearance when they are later operating a taller vehicle. Either way, they don’t seem to be any closer to finding a solution to successfully warn and prevent drivers from future crashes. Although the investigation into the incident on Thursday is still ongoing, police officials have indicated that it is possible that the driver of the food truck may face citations for ignoring sign posts.
There has been some discussion as to raising the bridge in the near future a costly but maybe necessary construction project.
Additional quotes and information may be found at the following links: http://www.wcvb.com/news/notorious-bridge-in-westwood-claims-life-of-another-box-truck/34835850