NEWARK, Del. - The Delaware Department of Transportation is getting mixed reactions for a new installation in Newark. DelDOT installed clackers on a street pole to warn drivers about a low bridge. They think it will help stop crashes in the area. Area drivers have doubts.
Casho Mill Road has more signs than a drive-thru fast food restaurant, but they are warning signs and they are posted for good reason.
"Your Oversized Truck Will Not Fit Under This Bridge."
Since 2005, a more than 100-year-old bridge has been struck by oversized vehicles more than 70 times and it’s become a headache to the local community.
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The infamous Newark road and bridge has seen so many crashed involving oversized trucks, locals have renamed Casho Mill Road ‘Crash-Oh-Mill Road.’
"In 2021, we handled 14 crashes with vehicles striking this bridge or getting caught underneath and so far, in 2022, we’ve handled 27," stated Newark Police Department Lt. Andrew Rubin.
Director of Community Relations for the Delaware Department of Transportation, C.R. McLeod. says the department has installed signs, lights and more signs, none of which have stopped crash incidents from happening.
DelDOT has come up with one more rather expensive solution. "If that’s not enough to get the drivers attention, when they hit these clankers, it’s going to make a loud sound within the vehicle, alerting them that they are not going to fit underneath that bridge," McLeod explained.
The $300,000 project just went in on Tuesday and McLeod says they’ve already seen use. "We’ve already seen one vehicle strike the clankers and then, thankfully, stop. So, already they are proving to do the job."
The bright orange clankers are seemingly hard to miss and will, hopefully, reduce crashes at the bridge to zero. If not, CSX, who owns the bridge, may request the popular thoroughfare be shut down.
"The railroad was there before the vehicle road was there and that’s something we want to avoid, obviously," McLeod added.
Time will tell on the effectiveness of the clankers, but locals certainly have their doubts.