Tag Archives: Bridges

Low Bridge anyone?

No this is not a title for a new Roger Corman film, but what truck drivers experience every time they encounter a bridge that is lower than the height of their trailer which may start at 13’4″ and taller (that fact was courtesy of some fellow Fb’ers on another city’s page).

The most infamous ones in the state are in Durham, which is known as the “can opener bridge”  has a clearance of 11’8″ and is featured on the blog 11 foot 8 ( located near Duke University’s West Campus and the bridge on Peace Street in Raleigh near Downtown, which has a clearance of 12’4″ and has had its share of trailers getting stuck under them.  In Charlotte, I found a bridge that has a clearance of 12’0″ and yes, has had its share of tractor trailers stuck under it.  What all of these bridges have in common was that they were built for the railroad before they mandated higher height clearances because trailers had become taller.  Around the Charlotte area, bridges were built by the Seaboard Airline Railroad and Southern Railroad.  I have not been able to find any trestles built by the Piedmont and Northern Railroad (P&N), although I think the remains of an old bridge on South Graham Street near Bank of America Stadium may have been built by P&N and if had still been intact would have been really low.

Built for the Seaboard Airline Railroad in 1929, this bridge carried the tracks to their Charlotte station located at North Tryon at 16th Street.  This has a 12’0″ clearance and when I went to take pictures, I could tell that trucks over the years have had their encounters with the bridge:

Clearance Sign for the Seigle Avenue Bridge.  Photo taken by the author.

Clearance Sign for the Seigle Avenue Bridge. Photo taken by the author.

Seigle Avenue Bridge.  Picture taken by the author.

Seigle Avenue Bridge. Picture taken by the author.

Faceplace showing Seaboard name and year.  Picture taken by author.

Faceplace showing Seaboard name and year and damage done by trucks stuck underneath the bridge. Picture taken by author.

To learn more about Charlotte’s Railroad History, please check out the updated Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story website sponsored by the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library at  The Historic Properties Commission has done studies of some of the railroad depots including the P&N Depot at Paw Creek and has included the history of transportation in the Charlotte area; they can be found at

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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in History, Transportation


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