A semitruck carrying mattresses was temporarily stuck under a Highland Drive bridge on the Cal Poly campus Tuesday afternoon, marking at least the third time a vehicle has struck the same bridge this year.
Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier said a big-rig heading out of campus toward Highway 1 on Highland Drive hit the railroad overpass sometime around 2 p.m. The impact ripped off a large portion of the trailer top, and wedged the truck under the 12-and-a-half-foot-high bridge.
Signs posted around the overpass warn drivers that the bridge has a 12-foot-6-inch clearance.
Lazier said at this time, the cause seems to have been “simple driver error.”
Union Pacific, which maintains the bridge, has been called to examine the bridge for structural damage.
This is at least the third time a too-tall vehicle has attempted to get under the bridge and failed.
In January, an off-route SLO Transit driver attempted to navigate the city’s only double-decker bus under the overpass. The impact destroyed a portion of the 14-foot tall bus’ upper level and halted traffic in the area for about an hour.
In May, a truck filled with marijuana also crashed into the overpass before fleeing the area. The truck was later located in the South County.
Lazier said in light of the most recent incident, there is some discussion about increasing signage on the road alerting drivers of the height limit. There are currently roadside signs on either side of the bridge alerting drivers of the restriction, as well as signs posted directly on the bridge.