We’re not much for promoting other blogs, but you owe it to yourself to take a look at 11foot8. It’s amazing.
Auto Waffle is a car blog. We focus on all sorts of things: the industry, unfortunate stories, good news, fun news, crazy things, and lots more. Well, 11foot8 is also a car blog… or rather, a truck blog. Well, no. It’s a bridge blog.
“A bridge blog? What kind of boring s#!t is that?”
The 11foot8 blog is about a bridge (okay, it’s a railroad trestle, but bridge is just easier to type and explain) in Durham, North Carolina. The bridge, as you might have guessed, is 11 feet 8 inches tall (actually, if we’re being technical, it’s 11 feet 10.8 inches tall, but the 2.8 inch safety margin is within the legal limits set forth by the law).
That might sound tall, but 11 feet 8 inches is well below the threshold of many commercial trucks, and even some box trucks and moving trucks.
According to the blog, the train trestle is about a century old, built before there were pesky things like municipalities, city ordinances, and standards for minimum clearance. When this thing was built, these were the vehicles that hauled goods underneath:
The FAQ at 11foot8 says that a truck gets damaged by the bridge roughly once a month. How? Well…. like this:
The bridge is the subject of much debate and bureaucracy between the North Carolina Railroad Company (the owners), the city of Durham, and the North Carolina DOT. The NC Railroad Company officially owns it, and since they’re a for-profit business, well, they don’t intend on shutting it down just to make a few pesky modifications like raising the trestle. Closing the tracks would affect revenue, likely for several months, and could cause other delays and issues with other sections of track in the area.
To do their part, the city of Durham, NC has installed low clearance signs for three blocks that lead up to the trestle. They even have a sign that flashes when a vehicle that is taller than… you guessed it, 11′ 8″ drives past. The speed limit on the roads leading up to it are also 25 mph.
But the railroad company says they did their part by just installing a crash beam.
So, this unfortunate turn of events, and ancient piece of roadway construction gives the blog at 11foot8 something to do. The owner of the site has two permanent cameras that record the intersection in order to capture the hilarity.
According to the site admin, who simply goes by “jurgen,” there have been no casualties due to the low height of the bridge – thankfully. There’s an 11foot8 Facebook page, and a YouTube Channel.
As of July 17, 2014, the cameras have recorded 76 – yes, SEVENTY SIX – crashes into the bridge, including this large box truck that hit it so hard, you’d think it was being piloted by Ken Block.
Bonus: campers are also known to lose their air conditioning at the 11foot8 bridge. Look how oblivious this driver was.
Images and Videos: 11foot8.com