Overheight Vehicle Detection Systems
prevent railroad bridge damage
When a truck hits a rail bridge, it usually results in railroad and vehicular traffic delays, in some cases for hours. In order to eliminate these occurrences, NJDOT recently activated three Overheight Vehicle Detection Systems (OVDS) in Edison, Linden and Elizabeth to warn truck drivers that the upcoming bridge can’t accommodate tall trucks.
The system consists of bells and lights on either side of the bridge entrance that act as an alert, triggered by a sensor, to truck drivers. If a truck is too tall to fit beneath the bridge, the audible alarm and the visual warning on an electronic display board are activated.
The three sites are in heavily traveled areas. For example, the Amtrak-owned Parsonage Road Bridge is located between Route 1 and Route 27 in Edison Township, the fifth largest municipality in the state.
On the Route 1 end of Parsonage Road is the Menlo Park Mall, replete with movie theatres and restaurants in addition to the shops. Between Route 1 and Route 27, in the center of Roosevelt Park, is a hospital. Apartments and condominiums encircle the park.
When there’s an accident, particularly if a truck hit the bridge, commuters who regularly use Route 27 for its ready access to the Edison, Metuchen and MetroPark train stations are affected as well as those who use trains, public service buses, cars, ambulances and delivery vehicles. If the traffic backed up to Route 1, it would hamper access to the nearby I-287 and the NJ Turnpike entrances.
NJDOT plans two additional OVDS in 2008.
NJTRANSIT will maintain and operate the warning systems.