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A truck has again smashed into the notorious Napier Street bridge in Footscray, causing peak-hour traffic chaos in the western suburbs and bringing the seven-year crash total to at least 57 incidents.
The truck smashed into the crash beam – the well-worn steel structure that protects the bridge – just before 3pm on Tuesday.
The scene was cleared shortly before 5pm, but traffic was still moving slowly on Dynon Road at 6.30pm.
The bridge itself was not damaged and trains were not affected.
Figures from Metro Trains shows there had already been five similar incidents at the bridge this year as of February 25, a figure set to rise once Metro crunches the updated numbers.
It also means truck drivers are on track to surpass the previous crash record of 12 in 2016.
The Napier Street bridge now rivals truck crash hot spot, the Montague Street bridge in South Melbourne.
In 2016, 18 trucks crashed into that bridge, but that figure dropped to four in 2017 and five in 2018 following the installation of more signage and a second gantry.
Plastic paddles hang from the gantries on the approach to the bridge and warn drivers who hit them they are oversize and cannot pass.
There are no gantries at the Napier Street bridge, however numerous signs and flashing lights on the approach warn drivers of the height clearance.
Maribyrnong Council, which has staff based in the nearby town hall who are jolted from their work with each smash, is frustrated about the lack of action over several years.
"We have had ongoing discussions with VicRoads over many years on this issue and despite various signage and flashing light treatments trialled, the problem has not improved," chief executive Stephan Wall said.
"We have also strongly advocated to the state government for the issue to be addressed.
"We have previously met with the minister responsible at the time and discussed a number of options, including the installation of height-detection cameras, appropriate signage as a deterrent, a physical warning system similar to road tunnel entrances, and working closely with industry to better inform operators of the safety hazard.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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