Train bridge in Tiffin dubbed “The Can Opener”

High profile vehicles have hit the 11′0″ train bridge on N. Washington 25 times in the last 3 years.
"The rail bridge is not the cause of the vehicle strikes. The issue here is with drivers, not the railroad," the company who owns the bridge said.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 6:45 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TIFFIN, Ohio (WTVG) - They call it “The Can Opener.” A train bridge over N. Washington in Tiffin has been hit by high profile vehicles 25 times in the last 3 years.

“It’s getting to the point where we’ll be sitting in the house, we hear it, and we’ll just say, ‘Welp, another truck hit the bridge,” said Rick Mowery, who lives near the bridge.

Each time there’s a crash, the City of Tiffin and its taxpayers are on the hook for cleanup.

“Between the time that’s spent both for our city workers, our police department, as well as just having that area closed down from time to time, it’s frustrating, certainly, for our drivers and for our community,” said Tiffin City Administrator Nick Dutro.

Several signs on either side of the approach indicate there is only an 11-foot clearance. Some of them have solar powered flashing lights. The Ohio Department of Transportation has also redirected truck routes for State Route 53. However, the crashes keep happening.

Sheriee Bowman, a spokesperson for the owner of the bridge, CSX, tell 13 Action News: “The rail bridge is not the cause of the vehicle strikes. The issue here is with drivers, not the railroad. The road authority would be the appropriate entity to provide comment on potential solutions for motorists. CSX works closely with road authorities in Ohio and across our network where our structures may be impacted by roadway traffic. It’s important to note that low clearance warning signs are installed along the roadway. We urge drivers to adhere to the posted bridge clearance signs and heed those warnings to ensure that the vehicle can safely clear the bridge before proceeding.”

Lowering the road, according to The City of Tiffin, would lead to flooding because it would dip below the nearby river. Dutro says the city continues to explore options. For now, it is trying to raise awareness about the train bridge with low clearance.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.