Frustrated residents are demanding a total ban on trucks beneath the Napier Street bridge following another dangerous bridge strike.
Morning peak traffic ground to a halt in Footscray last Wednesday when another container truck crashed into an overhead barrier protecting the notorious bridge.
Trucks have now hit the 4-metre bridge barriers almost 70 times in the last decade.
All eastbound lanes were closed after the truck’s container struck the underpass barrier, toppling across the bike lane onto the footpath.
The incident has raised questions about the effectiveness of a $600,000 realignment of the barriers in March this year.
Just days after the bright yellow barriers were realigned, a driver was injured when his car collided with a container that fell off a truck as it struck a barrier.
Maribyrnong Truck Action Group posted a video of the incident’s aftermath online, saying it was extremely lucky no one was hurt or killed.
MTAG secretary Martin Wurt called for a complete ban on the estimated 3000 trucks that use the route each day.
“The new barriers that the government put up, the safety barriers to stop this happening, obviously are a total failure,” he said.
“This situation needs to change. How long can it keep going on for? We need to have the trucks banned. That seems to be the most simple, realistic solution.”
Mr Wurt said the road was inappropriate for trucks regardless of the underpass, given its proximity to Victoria University.
Residents responding to Star Weekly’s online report of the incident supported MTAG’s call for a truck ban.
Simon said the number of trucks using the route over recent months is getting out of control.
Jennifer labelled the underpass a death trap. “What’s the point of alarms and number plate technology when you’re squashed flat on the footpath?” she wrote.
The state government announced in May it will spend a further $1.1 million on a safety upgrade that will include alarms that notify authorities and automatic number plate technology to capture the details of drivers disobeying the 4-metre height limit.
VicRoads acting operations director Fatima Mohamed said the works were expected to be completed by late 2017.
“There are currently 28 advance warning signs and five height detection devices around the bridge, which alert drivers to the height of the bridge.”
VicRoads has resisted calls to ban trucks on the route and has no intention of lowering the road.