Bridge height gauges to stop vehicle strikes

New program begins in Queensland to reduce the risk of vehicles hitting low-level rail bridges

August 16, 2010

Height gauges will be installed in rail bridges across Brisbane in a bid to stop over-height vehicles from hitting them.

Gauges will be installed at six of the most frequently hit low level bridges under the Queensland Government’s $1 million Low Level Bridge Protection program.

The height gauges will be installed at Wynnum, Woolloongabba, Rocklea, Graceville, Toowong and Gaythorne. The Government expects work to be completed by early October.

"Height gauges will be built over the roads leading to the bridges and will chime loudly when an over-height vehicle hits them, warning the driver of the low level bridge ahead," Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says.

Nolan says 332 rail bridges have been struck by over-height vehicles in South East Queensland in the past eight years.

"When a bridge is hit, it must be structurally assessed before trains can run over it again. If it happens during a busy period, a whole line can be shut and that means major delays for commuters," Nolan says.

"But these delays have been happening for as long as I can remember so building gantries at key locations will now minimise disruptions."

While saying the program will improve protection of rail bridges, Nolan urged drivers to take more care.

"Every bridge has a clearance height sign and drivers have an obligation to know how high their truck or bus is," she says.

"Drivers who fail to do that and hit a bridge can face a court-imposed fine of up to $4,000."

The installation of gauges comes as the Government prepares to trial a new scheme to prevent bridge strikes.

Beginning later this year, the Government will trial infrared laser detectors, CCTV and active signage to warn motorists about low rail bridges.
The trial will be conducted at Indooroopilly and Corinda.

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