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Tall trucks occasionally crash into the overpass bridge, which is just over 12 feet tall

COURTESY PHOTOS: TRIMET - The truck was too tall for the railroad bridge overpass, which is 12 feet, three inches off the ground.

A truck crashed into a railroad overpass bridge on Grahams Ferry Road near S.W. Clutter Road, delaying TriMet's WES commuter rail — which serves Wilsonville, Tualatin, Beaverton and Tigard — and blocking road traffic for a few hours Monday, Sept. 30.

According to TriMet Public Information Officer Tyler Graf, the incident was the fourth time that a vehicle had struck the overpass bridge in 2019. And according to Washington County Sheriff's Office data, there had been four reported crashes at the bridge from 2012 to 2017. Wilsonville Police also said they have responded to multiple similar incidents at the overpass.

"The vehicle that hits it is usually pretty significant damaged," Wilsonville Police Chief Rob Wurpes said.

The crashes likely result because the bridge is only 12 feet, 3 inches above the roadway. In Monday's crash, the top of the Bison Transport vehicle trailer collided with the bottom of the bridge, severing part of the trailer.

As is standard protocol, a bridge inspector from Portland and Western Railroad examined the bridge and determined that it wasn't damaged so WES resumed operation shortly after the incident. During the time when it was closed, TriMet ran an alternative bus shuttle service.

"Thankfully the damage was minimal and we were able to return to service after about an hour and a half," Graf said.

Wilsonville Police officer Ben Toops, who assisted Washington County in responding to the crash, said the roadway was shut down at 7:30 a.m. and opened back up again at about 11 a.m.

To prevent more crashes, Toops recommended drivers of large trucks consider avoiding that section of Grahams Ferry Road.

"The area is posted with warning signs, so we would encourage carriers to know how tall their vehicles are and if they see the warning signs take an alternate route," he said.

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