New York to Begin Testing Over-Height Vehicle Detection Systems

New York officials are taking steps to prevent bridge strikes on FDR Drive.

According to the New York Daily News, over the past year, more than 150 vehicles have struck bridges and overpasses in New York.

This weekend, crews will place a steel beam that will prevent trucks from striking an overpass on southbound FDR drive near E. 90th street.

“Some overpasses do not get any bridge strikes, but this one in particular . . . has one of the highest rates in the city,” a New York Department of Transportation spokeswoman told the New York Daily News.

In September, crews began implementing “over-height detection systems” at five Hutchinson River Parkway entrance ramps as part of a $5 million program to warn truck drivers about to illegally drive onto the road.

With the new system, a too-tall vehicle would pass through an infrared beam which would then trigger an electronic message alerting the driver to pull over and call the police for help. It also alerts the DOT traffic management center, where operators call the police as well.

But not everyone agrees the infrared detection system is the best, most cost effective way to solve the issue. State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, D-Greenburgh, said he has repeatedly suggested hight bars that would physically block the trucks, which would be cheaper and would stop the trucks sooner than the beam system.