Twentieth overheight truck hits Napier Street bridge

A container was pushed off the back of the truck by the bridge barrier on Wednesday. Photo by Martin Wurt/MTAG

By Benjamin Millar

The third overheight truck crash in six days at the notorious Napier Street Bridge has taken the strike tally for the year to 20.

An inbound truck crashed into a barrier at the Footscray bridge around noon on Wednesday, spilling its container onto the road and bringing traffic to a standstill.

The crash followed another inbound incident just before 10am last Friday, while an outbound truck slammed into a bridge barrier just after 7am on Monday.

All three incidents resulted in lane closures, detours and long delays on the Werribee and Williamstown train lines.

A train passes the scene of Wednesday’s crash, the twentieth this year. Photo by Martin Wurt/MTAG

The state government has spent millions of dollars on safety improvements including flashing lights and warning signs to alert oversized trucks of the risk, but the efforts have failed to dint the number of trucks still crashing, often creating lengthy traffic and rail delays.

Maribyrnong Truck Action Group president Martin Wurt said Wednesday’s crash was the twentieth time that the bridge has been hit this year.

“When are the ministers responsible for this going to do something about it?

“Someone is going to die. We need change here, it’s not good enough just doing nothing.”


An outbound container truck crashed into Napier Street bridge on Monday morning. Photo by Martin Wurt/MTAG


Authorities are continuing to resist pressure to lower the road, raise the bridge, install warning chains over the road or send trucks onto another route.

A Department of Transport spokesman said  automatic electronic over height vehicle detection systems and 28 advance warning signs are in place on both approaches to, and around, the bridge.

“It’s extremely disappointing when these incidents occur as drivers not only put their own, but also the safety of other drivers and the public, at risk,” he said.

“While this technology has reduced the number of bridge strikes at Napier Street, ultimately, the only way to eliminate bridge strikes is for drivers to be aware of the height of their vehicle and plan their journey accordingly.”