'Bridge hits must stop before a life is lost'
CALLS for improved warnings for height restrictions have intensified in Ipswich after a truck was lodged under a bridge in Goodna.
The semi-trailer struck the Ipswich Motorway at around 8am yesterday on Layard St, Goodna, a location well known for bridge strikes.
Statistics from Queensland Rail show the Layard St Bridge has been struck once in the past financial year.
The Ipswich Motorway and the Layard St rail bridge are without dangles and steel beams used to prevent bridge strikes at other known trouble spots.
Spokesperson for commuter lobby group Rail Back on Track Robert Dow said these two preventative measures have worked with great effect.
He said the bridge strikes need to be taken seriously so another tragic event like the one which claimed the life of a cyclist in Brisbane over the weekend can be avoided.
"If the truck didn't hit the bridge the cyclist would not have been killed," he said.
"They both need to be protected.
"Every time the railway bridge is struck the trains need to be stopped until it can be assessed."
Neighbours said signage needed to be improved to give truck drivers better warning.
A number of trucks had caused traffic to bank up when they realised the bridge height was too low and were forced to reverse their way out.
Goodna councillor Paul Tully repeated calls for audible warning "dangles" to be installed at the Goodna underpass which had claimed dozens of heavy vehicles in the past five years.
"Some professional drivers are driving like cowboys around Ipswich ignoring warning signs and coming to grief at low-level rail bridges," he said.
A Queensland Rail spokesperson said in the 2012-13 financial year there were 60 reported bridge strikes on the Queensland Rail network.
"All rail bridges, including the Layard Street rail bridge, are fitted with height clearance signage to reduce the likelihood of bridge strikes," the spokesperson said.
"We have a range of measures at rail bridges across the network, including signage, sacrificial beams and height gauges, as well as infrared laser detectors at two Brisbane locations.
"We consider the most suitable option for each location based on a number of factors, which include number of incidents, type and height of bridge, road layout and road usage."
The spokesperson said motorists who damaged Queensland Rail infrastructure, including bridges, face maximum penalties of $8800.
Queensland Rail may also pursue motorists for the cost of any repair work required following a bridge strike.