Inner-west roads and train lines were thrown into chaos after yet another container struck the notorious Napier Street bridge on Monday morning.
Emergency services were called to the scene in Footscray about 8.45am after a car collided with a container that fell off a truck when it struck an overhead barrier.
Police, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Ambulance Victoria attended the scene.
The car’s bonnet and front end were badly damaged and the driver sustained minor injuries.
All outbound lanes were closed at Hyde Street after the truck hit the rail overpass, Melbourne’s most struck rail bridge. Williamstown and Werribee trains ground to a halt, but later began moving again with delays up to 15 minutes.
Napier Street’s 4.0m rail overpass has been struck almost 70 times since 2005. About 3000 trucks travel the route each day.
Another over-height truck crashed into the in-bound bridge barrier last Monday, just days after the barriers were realigned to improve safety at a cost of $600,000.
— MTAG (@mtag_info) March 5, 2017
Maribyrnong Council has lobbied the government to improve safety and Footscray police have called for a ban on container trucks passing beneath the bridge and an increase to the $738 fine.
Footscray police inspector Adrian Healy said it felt like an earthquake had struck at the nearby police station.
He said more steps need to be taken to ensure over-height trucks realise they won’t fit under the bridge.
“There are plenty of signs, but clearly it’s not working.”
Recent works included the realignment of the protection beams on both sides of the bridge, and new technology to warn drivers well before they reach the bridge.
The works were designed to stop containers injuring or killing pedestrians or cyclists after being knocked onto the footpath or bike lane.
But the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group slammed the 18-month delay to works as a sign of the state government’s neglect of the western suburbs.
Spokesman Martin Wurt said nobody could consider the $600,000 spent to realign barriers but not stop the accidents as a real step forward on a long-running issue.
“You’ve got three lanes going down into one, trucks coming under Victoria’s most struck bridge, round the corner to a pedestrian crossing used by most of Victoria University’s students, it’s just ridiculous.”
Maribyrnong mayor Catherine Cumming has said neither VicRoads nor the state government is acting quickly enough to find a permanent solution.
Roads are closed heading outbound from the city at the Napier St Bridge due to an earlier incident. Please seek an alternate route @VicRoads pic.twitter.com/5ux25xfGr0 — City of Maribyrnong (@MaribyrnongCC) March 5, 2017