Randy Hardenbrook noticed the white-colored semi-truck stalled on West Central Avenue as it was about 30 feet from the “can-opener” railroad bridge Wednesday evening.
The Delaware resident was traveling eastbound after picking up his five-year-old son from daycare. The truck, which was traveling westbound, had its lights on with cars going around it after 5:30 p.m.
“It was obviously not going to fit,” he said.
Hardenbrook did not know how the truck turned around, but alerted other residents on social media.
“Traffic gets bad at the time of the day,” Hardenbrook said.
And traffic could have been worse as the Delaware County Fair runs through Saturday along with its horse races, he added.
Delaware police received no call about the truck getting stuck at the 12-foot, 7-inch railroad bridge, according to Capt. Adam Moore.
“It’s difficult to gauge how many trucks go down there and get turned around on their own,” he said.
The bridge got its nickname because the drivers of tall semi-trucks often ignore the current signs and get the tops of their trailers torn off when they drive under it. Police also help the drivers with tall trucks that stop before reaching the bridge to back up and use an alternate route.
The can-opener has caused 30 accidents and 75 turnarounds since 2010, costing the city $15,000 for emergency response, traffic control and cleaning up debris, according to previous Gazette reporting.
Delaware City Council approved a new laser detection and warning system to prevent many of the traffic issues at the bridge more than a year ago.
The system was to be installed this summer, but city spokesman Lee Yoakum said the scope of the project has slightly changed.
More detection systems and signage were included in the project’s design, he said, and the planning time was extended, pushing the project into 2017.
The project is funded with $215,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation and $100,000 from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, said Nancy Burton, spokeswoman for ODOT District 6.
“Construction could start as early as next summer,” she said.
The project will construct an over-height detection and warning system for the CSX railroad bridge on West Central Avenue between Morning Street and Euclid Avenue. The over-height detection system could reduce the number of can-opener incidents by 65 to 70 percent, according to ODOT.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.