Author Topic: Narrow bridge crossings  (Read 1433 times)

Gene Obie

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Narrow bridge crossings
« on: November 10, 2020, 07:45:03 AM »
Newbie driving question. I have a trip coming up where google maps show several very old narrow bridge crossings. They are 1way, 2 lane bridges. How many of you just find a convenient time to center lane it across (ie take up both lanes)? Or do you go slow, squeeze into the left lane a bit if you need to, and pucker up for the crossing?

With 8.5ft wide MH and and lane about the same width seems like a risky proposition.
-Gene

2005 Beaver Marquis, Ruby 40, C-13 Cat 525HP, Allison 4k
Coupeville, WA

David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2020, 12:56:01 PM »
Very old and narrow bridges were likely not designed to handle the weight of your RV.  Assuming the bridges on the travel route have the weight-bearing capacity, I would pull up to, say, 50 feet from the bridge, crowding the middle of the driving path across the bridge, wait, and cross when the oncoming traffic has a gap, i.e., no oncoming vehicles, and proceed while making it obvious that you intend to use much on the bridge's width.
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2020, 03:54:02 PM »
Newbie driving question. I have a trip coming up where google maps show several very old narrow bridge crossings.

Don't use Google Maps.
It does not take into consideration the Coach's weight, length, or height (and if your carrying propane).

Get a mapping/gps program designed for Trucks and Coaches.

I have/use a GPS designed for RVs (the Rand McNally OverDryve 7), Garmin makes a good one too. Or you can use a program like "RV Trip Wizard" (I use that regularly with my laptop computer when I'm planning a long tip, and it has a iPhone gps app).

Those programs will route you around low underpasses and places where your Coach should not be going.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL

Joel Ashley

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2020, 10:52:26 PM »
You said 2 lane, 1-way bridges.  Why wouldn’t that be wide enough?  Regardless, if width is an issue, I’d wait to cross when there’s no other traffic, or as David does, just move to indicate to followers that you intend to hog both lanes.

We once crossed a busy Washington bridge, Snohomish area I think, with our old 8’ wide Pace Arrow and tweaked the right mirror on a girder as I sashayed away from an oncoming semi.  Mirrors stick out more than the coach’s  8.5’.  Your mirrors can be adjusted inward via the arms, and still see adequately by adjusting their swivel.

More of a concern should be bridge capacities.  Tunnel edge heights and bridge limits can usually be found in the Trucker’s Atlas, commonly available at truck stops and probably Amazon.  I check it before entering a new State, and write down any warnings it mentions in case we plan on traveling anywhere near a low/narrow tunnel, low overpass, low-load bridge, or any other avoidable hazard.  Truckers’ apps and GPS features like Mike mentions are also advisable.

Joel

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Gene Obie

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2020, 04:34:41 AM »
Thanks for the comments. To clarify, I'm looking at the route from I5 out of Seattle over to Pacific Beach State Park (North of Ocean Shores) on HWY109. Perhaps some of you have been on that route? I do use RV GPS, Rand Motor Carrier Road Atlas, and also check the WA State road restrictions (height and weight). Also, I've been using google street view to look at bridges and general areas of the route. So this bridge in question is HWY101 over N Fork Hoquiam River. The bridge has single axle limit of 20,000. I have 21000 rating on the drive axle but am not fully loaded so probably under that - but not by much. It's hard to know how wide this really is using street view but there's certainly not much room for error in any case. I'm 8.5' wide + mirrors and thinking I'm just going to wait for traffic in my direction in the other lane to clear and hog both lanes. As I said its 2 lanes and 1 way.

Still pretty intimidated by this big rig and hoping to get through the steep part of this learning curve without taking my mirrors (or worse) off. Maybe I should just find a different destination until then.
-Gene

2005 Beaver Marquis, Ruby 40, C-13 Cat 525HP, Allison 4k
Coupeville, WA

Mike Shumack

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2020, 12:03:55 PM »
I'm 8.5' wide + mirrors and thinking I'm just going to wait for traffic in my direction in the other lane to clear and hog both lanes. As I said its 2 lanes and 1 way.

Still pretty intimidated by this big rig and hoping to get through the steep part of this learning curve without taking my mirrors (or worse) off. Maybe I should just find a different destination until then.

That does look like a tight fit - but if other Trucks and School Buses and such can do it so can you. If the road is two-lane then it "has to be" wide enough for your Coach. If your plan is to wait for a gap in the oncoming traffic, you could have a very long wait.

I have been in several tight squeezes - like going through construction zones and some of the older toll booths. The driving technique I use is to focus on the roadway further ahead and not look at the situation happening 10 feet in front of me or to the sides. Of course you need to be aware of everything around your coach, but keeping you eyes further down the road makes keeping the Coach steady in your lane easier. IMO.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL

David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2020, 12:15:08 PM »
I think "2 lane - 1 way" means there is a street light at both ends of the bridge which interrupts the 2-way traffic flow to 1-way traffic while crossing the bridge.  Oncoming gets a green light for a time, then it switches for the other direction to get a green light.
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David Ciotti

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020, 12:35:55 PM »
Speaking of toll booths, I have found the far right toll booth lane to be wider and easier to squeeze through the the other lanes.
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Bill Lampkin

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2020, 04:20:45 PM »
Gene, No problem on the bridge, driven that one several times. Pacific Beach is a nice SP; enjoy!
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The following users thanked this post: Joel Ashley, Gene Obie

Joel Ashley

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2020, 09:35:50 AM »
David, while checking the satellite view of the bridge I think he refers to (in Hoquiam), I surmised that street is one way westbound;  another a few blocks south of it I’d guess is a complimentary one way eastbound.  There appear to be alternative routes, but perhaps longer on more winding, narrower county roads. 

Thanks Bill, for easing Gene’s mind, and mine as I have relatives that live at Ocean Shores, and may need to “cross that bridge when I come to it“.  It was 1996 when we last went through Aberdeen/Hoquiam, and then in a much smaller Pace Arrow.

Joel
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Gene Obie

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2020, 04:51:33 PM »
Thanks, helps a lot to know someone has been there. With the grating on these bridges and no lane markings it's hard to judge.
-Gene

2005 Beaver Marquis, Ruby 40, C-13 Cat 525HP, Allison 4k
Coupeville, WA

David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Narrow bridge crossings
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2020, 01:23:03 PM »
After looking at GOOGLE Maps, I see there are two one-way bridges crossing the river.  The two bridges are separated by about 5 to 6 blocks.  Both bridges are two-lane and traffic always flows in the same direction, the southernmost bridge flows west to east and vice versa.  Both bridges are river crossings for Hiway 101. 
David, Leslie & Jasper, JoJo
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