May 1, 2015

It's a trap!

GPS Leads Truckers to a 'Trap' in Schodack
By Katie EastmanThursday, April 30, 2015 at 06:25 PM EDT
SCHODACK, N.Y. -- Life as a truck driver means constantly avoiding getting stuck, and you'd think modern technology would help.

"It's not the truckers fault," said Rensselaer County Legislator Alex Shannon.

But if you're one of the 200 trucks a week delivering to the Hannaford Distribution Center in Schodack, getting there might seem like a trap.

"They're following their GPS," said Shannon. "They're going to go where their GPS tells them to go."

On your way to the warehouse after you get off Exit 12 on the Thruway, you want to take a left, but too often the trucks go right. If you're coming from the other direction off of B1, the truckers mistakenly take a left.

"Next thing you know they're on this back country road and next thing you know they see this," said Shannon pointing at the bridge.

On a back county road, there's a 12-foot 6-inch bridge that trucks can't fit under. Shannon has a proposal that the legislature will take up at their next meeting to warn them with signs.

The problem is the address listed for the Hannaford Distribution Center is their P.O. Box address, so on a GPS it looks like it's just around the corner. In reality it's about 5 miles away and many truckers don't realize that until it's too late.

"I've been to the town, I've been to the county, told them to put a sign up down there. Nothing done yet," said Edward Jewedt, who can see the bridge from his lawn.

Jewedt won't believe the county's resolution until the trucks stop waking him up at 3 a.m., ruining his property and taking down power lines when they turn around.

"I was a Class A driver," he said. "You're supposed to know your route before you leave. Any low bridges, you're supposed to know about."

The county is proposing to add weight limit signs at the intersections before trucks turn toward the Schodack Landing Post Office. They also want a sign that says, "Not the Hannaford Distribution Center" to make sure those modern drivers don't fall victim to their own GPS.

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