On my way home from the gym the other morning, I saw what is becoming a familiar scene of mangled steel and wrecked concrete at the overpass on Springfield Avenue near Neil in Champaign.
A semi had ignored the low height and driven right into the underpass, getting about four feet in before it became stuck.
In the year and a half I have lived in Chambana, I've witnessed stuck trucks here three times. Three times in less than two years! That is ridiculous. And yes, the overpass is low... apparently much lower than most. It's marked with a small yellow sign announcing its height and blinking yellow lights that must be all too easy for a sleepy truck driver to overlook.
I excercised an impulse that I think few people share with me in these times, which was to look to the local newspaper for an explanation of the event. To its credit, the News-Gazette ran a photo with a great, unique angle as the main art on the front page the next day. It's too bad I can't find the photo; it really says it all.
But the reporting was lackluster.
The Gazette reported the event as if it were a funny oddity instead of an apparently serious problem. For one, it is lucky that no one is injured in these crashes. Secondly, this damage costs the truck companies and likely the city money in repairs. And thirdly, there is no reason for a city to have an overpass that trucks periodically crash into.
I wanted to know why this keeps happening, and who, if anyone, will do anything about it.
But the caption failed to even make mention of the other recent events.