The city of Wichita has ordered a warning system for the Waterman Street railroad underpass near Intrust Bank Arena.
The system costs $10,000, and the city hopes it will prevent large trucks from getting stuck underneath the bridge. Typically, several trucks get stuck in the underpass every year, which causes traffic problems until the truck can be removed.
The system uses an infrared beam to signal drivers if their trucks are too tall to safely pass under the 12-foot-tall bridge. If a vehicle breaks the beam, a warning sign will light up.
City engineer Brian Coon said that when the system alerts drivers their vehicles won’t fit, they will need to stop and make a U-turn.
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The city has ordered the system, and it is expected to be shipped by Jan. 27. The underpass is owned by the BNSF Railway.
Wichita has asked the BNSF to contribute funding to the project. Coon said the railroad benefits from the system because it has to send someone out to examine the underpass for structural damage after a truck gets stuck.
A BNSF spokesman said Friday that the company could not immediately comment on the project.
Coon estimates that once the city receives the system and does all of the prep work, it should take one to two days before the system is installed and operational.