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Depot Bridge Swallows Dump Truck
by Irene Barna
Depot Bridge, Pittsford. Photo by Irene Barna, June 22, 2005.
Depot Bridge, Pittsford. Photo by Irene Barna, June 22, 2005.
Depot Bridge, Pittsford. Photo by Irene Barna, June 22, 2005.
Depot Bridge, Pittsford. Photo by Irene Barna, June 22, 2005.

Pittsford Vt. June 22. 2005 -- Ed and I went to visit the Depot Bridge [WGN 45-11- 06] last evening. It is indeed trashed. The entire west end of the supporting roof structures are smashed and on the floor. I took several photos with my little "point and shoot". The entire dump truck body remains in the bridge. I didn't, at the time, attempt to make an estimate of how far into the bridge the body remains; but I'd say, on recollection, maybe 20 feet. It's in there a good ways having taken out everything in its path overhead along the way. The Depot bridge has significant roof overhang at the portal and the body is 20 feet is from where the portal meets the road! All crossbracing and roof bracing to where the truck body remains still standing on end is smashed to smithereens and on the floor and there are huge holes in the roof on either side of the roof ridge.
       Photographing the interior was difficult as both ends of the bridge are totally barricaded with sheets of plywood. The only means of viewing the interior (without a ladder of significant height) is by peering through about 5-inch-wide openings alongside of each portal side.
       Looking at the bridge from a distance down the road, the west end does wrack to the south. (But remember, Depot is the lattice bridge that does have at the east end the iron braces that look like railroad rails supporting both outsides.)
       While there we had an opportunity to speak with a young man who said his father is with the Pittsford fire department. The explanation he gave is that the dump truck had been parked overnight with the dump body in a slight upraised position to allow rain water to drain out, a typical practice. When the driver drove off, the hydraulics activated the dump body to be raised to full height and in that upright position off he went toward the bridge. Fortunately for the driver he did not encounter any electrical wires; but unfortunately for the bridge it stopped his forward motion, ripping the dump body from the chassis and there it remains.
       Now I ask: if automobiles have dashboard warning indicators to alert of a "door ajar", why do trucks not have same for "truck body not in road position" which would activate when a certain forward speed is reached? At least this one didn't seem to be so equipped. Driver error; but at a very sad expense.

       Here is the old Depot Span
       Mortally hurt by a hired hand
       Given more than its share of knocks
       By someone thinking outside the box.
                     - Ed Barna

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted June 23, 2005, update June 27, 2005