Pierre Train Bridge Claims Camper as its Latest Victim
If you have been to our capital city, you have more than likely seen the bridge that eats tall vehicles. It's been happening for years and it's not a new thing. Usually, it is semi-truck trailers that get wiped out. It was something different this time.
On Sunday a photo was posted to the Facebook group "Trucks vs. Bridge, Pierre SD" that shows a very tall fifth wheel camper stuck under the South Pierre Street Viaduct. Trains use this bridge to travel through the city. It's wide enough for two trains, although only one track runs across it now.
One thing that causes problems is that the bridge is very low. It only has 11 feet 3 inches of clearance, more than two feet shorter than the standard height of semi-truck trailers, which is 13 feet 6 inches.
Another cause of the collisions is that it spans U.S. Highway 14 as it winds its way on various city streets to get to Sioux Avenue. This is the path for cars to take. There is a separate truck route that is occasionally overlooked or ignored. There are signs marking the bypass well, and many signs and warning lights for overheight vehicles. The bridge still gets hit.
The photo shows the camper stuck under the bridge, but wasn't caught because of the height of the roof of the camper. The cooling units on the roof are what put it over height and caused it to have a run-in with the undefeated low bridge.
If you google "south pierre street viaduct" you will find that it has one review. It gets one star and reads:
"Super low clearance that will eat rv's, truck trailers, U-haul type trucks and payloads over a height 11'3. The. Viaduct /Bridge is designed for railway freight. South Street Pierre is not a truck by-pass. Attempting to go under this bridge with anything other than an average car or pickup towing a lawnmower will be a day and budget buster everytime. Truck by pass is well marked with signage."
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