The city of Kansas City and the KCT Railway have finally reached an agreement and will soon build a new structure to prevent semi trucks from striking the infamous Independence Avenue Bridge.
The city and KCT Railway have agreed to split the costs of a warning height clearance curtain, an estimated $150,000. The warning height clearance curtain is a series of plastic pipes hung above a roadway at the height of the upcoming bridge. If a truck hits the curtain, the pipes make a chiming noise that can clearly be heard inside the truck, indicating to the driver that they will not make it under the upcoming bridge and should turn around.
The idea for the warning curtain comes from San Antonio, where they had a similar problem with trucks and a low bridge. Officials in San Antonio say the solution has worked very well since it was installed.
“Once we put on those curtains, it worked very well,” said Paul Berry with San Antonio Public Works to KCTV 5. “We had one crash about six months after we put in the curtains five years ago, and we haven’t had any since.”
It is not clear when construction on the Independence Avenue Bridge warning system will begin. There have been 32 truck crashes with the bridge since January 2020.
“My hope is that this is something that gets done in the first quarter of next year. There is no reason why it really cannot be done,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. “I know it’s funny, but it really can become a real risk not just to the trucks themselves, not just to drivers, but also to anyone who’s either driving or walking down Independence Avenue.”