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Topic: Highway Underpass Heights

Posted By: donwilli1 on 09/05/07 03:19pm

We have a new motorcoach on order and are concerned as the overall height is 12'10" which may not clear some highway underpasses ... where can we find a resource (web site ?) that details the clearance heights of underpasses in any state in the US ?


Posted By: crickeydog on 09/05/07 03:26pm

donwilli1 wrote:

We have a new motorcoach on order and are concerned as the overall height is 12'10" which may not clear some highway underpasses ... where can we find a resource (web site ?) that details the clearance heights of underpasses in any state in the US ?

Google DOT Bridge Clearance Restrictions.

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Posted By: wilpower on 09/05/07 03:27pm

Go here: Low Clearences


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Posted By: RogerNCindy on 09/05/07 03:27pm

Don't have an answer to your specific question, but I can tell you that in Ohio the standard clearance is 13' 6". It seems to me that that is among the lowest standard clearances around.


Posted By: jimhaz2402 on 09/05/07 03:49pm

I buy a Trucker's Atlas every year which gives all of the heights. You can buy them at any truckstop.


Posted By: kottfam6wi on 09/05/07 03:34pm

I think any federally funded interstates must have a clearance of 13'6" feet or above. Don't know for sure, but that seems to be what comes to mind.
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Posted By: dicnic on 09/05/07 05:37pm

Driving on non-Interstate highways you will find some low clearances. I have observed some in NY, PA, Maine, CT and other states, mostly in small towns. The ones I have seen were marked well in advance, except the one on highway 6 in eastern NY state.

However, the other posters offer good advice about information sources.


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Posted By: scabello on 09/05/07 05:31pm

As mentioned, if you stay on the interstate, 13'6" is guaranteed minimum. BUT please realize parkways and highways can have much shorter clearances. Buy a Truckers Atlas and if you plan to get off the interstate, you can check it for reference


Posted By: dave Stringham on 09/05/07 04:02pm

13.6 is what most semi truck trailers are......most overpasses on a highway are going to be higher.


Posted By: Craig95005 on 09/05/07 05:35pm

Are there standard rules for how high power and telephone lines have to be above the road? I'm thinking about backroads, curvy mountain roads, and so on. Wonder how often a motorhome snags one of those lines. Should be exciting if you do!


Posted By: KV41 on 09/05/07 05:49pm

You will be OK on U.S. Interstates and the Trucker Atlas will give
you low clearence height on roads approved for 18 wheelers to travel
but what you must be on guard for beside the truck routes is less
travel roads, state, county roads. Play it safe on these less travel
roads and look at height before going under.

The Trucker Atlas will give you approved road for 18 wheelers and
if they can get under the low overpass then you can also or this manual will give you a warning about height, but you can not depend
on the Trucker Atlas for warning on road not approvel for Big truck.

Also play it safe and look.


Posted By: gmanatl on 09/05/07 04:09pm

We travel state highways more than the interstates to try and see more of the scenery. We belong to Good Sam and plan our route using their trip planning and we always select avoid low clearances as one of the parameters for our trips. When you get off the interstate system you can run into a lot of low underpasses and weight restricted bridges. There are several ways to get clearance information and doing a search on this site or IRV2 will probably help you.


Posted By: rje on 09/05/07 05:24pm

On the interstate Hwys bridges and overpasses are marked if the clearance is lower than 14 ft....In tx. it seems to me that they mark all of their overpasses, seen some marked as high as 25 ft. I've never seen any bridges that were lower than 14 ft. not marked as such.....I'm sure there may be an exception....federal Hwy guidelines require all overpasses 13' 6" or lower on any fed. hwy to be marked well in advance...hope this helps


Posted By: rapracing on 09/05/07 04:07pm

I believe underpasses in Pa are all marked in advance as well. The lowest I have seen is 13'6". Most on state and interstate hwy's are 14'10"


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Posted By: autorot8 on 09/06/07 03:40pm

There are also some tunnels to be concerned with. In Washington state, its hwy 12 or 14 along the Columbia, several tunnels trucks and taller vehicles have to straddle the yellow to clear the tunnel due to the curvature.


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Posted By: JasonD on 09/06/07 06:07am

jimhaz2402 wrote:

I buy a Trucker's Atlas every year which gives all of the heights. You can buy them at any truckstop.


There are two underpasses w/in a couple of miles of my house that are under 12 feet, and you won't find them in any truckers atlas or website. There are located on secondary roads in neighborhoods where 18 wheelers are unlikely to go, but there's a much better chance an RV would head back there.

Those truckers atlas's are only showing low clearances on major arteries where a trucker might go. It is not a comprehensive list.


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Posted By: Chuck&Gail on 09/05/07 08:16pm

IMO you are right to worry. Our HTTTH is 10' 2" and we've found a number of bridges we can't get under. Check out thisfor a state by state listing.


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Posted By: vermilye on 09/06/07 05:02pm

If you have a laptop GPS you can download height files for 12'4", 12'6", 12'9" & 13'2" from The Discovery Owners Database. Lots of other useful files. Click on the word "Here" (link) for the list.

Although I have not done it, I have been told that these files can be loaded into some stand alone GPS units, but the instructions on the site have them optimized for Delorme's Street Atlas, CoPilot & Microsoft's Streets & Trips.


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Posted By: mapmaker1948 on 10/13/07 07:02am

In or about 1998, a wide/high load was being escorted through Nashville on I-40. There was a sign warning of the low clearance on the next three or four overpasses. The truck was escorted after midnight at a slow speed by the THP. They cleared the first two, but scrapped the third. The city was going to sue the truck co. for damages, but the court threw it out. Turns out, the highway had been re-surfaced so many times the height was about 8 inches less than what was posted.


Posted By: gonesouth on 10/13/07 07:23am

On the east coast there are a number of parkways with older stone bridges and about 10' clearance. There is one that parallels the 95 in Connecticut that comes to mind, i think it runs north to New Haven. Beautiful, but low clearance.

I also remember one, I think in Florida, which had an 11' something clearance in the outer lane. Middle lane was over 12'


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Posted By: Sabil on 10/13/07 09:31am

There is a software program called CoPilot that runs on your computer. Has GPS also. First developed for truckers w hight limits included. Their RV edition also has hight limits included. I use it with my home computer to plan out a route for our trips.


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Posted By: tatest on 09/06/07 03:17pm

Craig95005 wrote:

Are there standard rules for how high power and telephone lines have to be above the road? I'm thinking about backroads, curvy mountain roads, and so on. Wonder how often a motorhome snags one of those lines. Should be exciting if you do!


There are clearance and weight standards for roads designated for commercial over-the-road trucking. These roads are identified in the Motor Carrier's Road Atlas. If there are exceptions to the minimum standards, these will be listed in that atlas. Most "low clearance" lists are these exceptions; only a few states publish readily accessible clearance lists for every road in the state.

Once you get off "designated" roads, clearances man be lower than the Interstate minimum standards, and there is no uniform requirement for listing these. Marking is a matter of local policy.

On non-designated curvy mountain roads, you might radius clearance problems more often than overhead clearance problems. You might curves you can't negotiate with backing, even using the full width of the roadway. You might find bridges that won't hold the weight of even a small motorhome.

So yes, true "back roads" can be a problem. But if you just mean off the Interstate, but still on designated trucking roads, if a standard 53', 102" wide, 12'6" to 13' trailer can get through, you should be able to get any legal motorhome through.


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Posted By: kalynzoo on 10/13/07 07:34pm

There are several publications at truck stops that give clearance and restrictions. On the main highways I have not seen an overpass under 14 ft. However, on back highways and exits 12 ft is not uncommon. Another problem is that hight markers on older overpasses may not take into account road thickness after repaving. If you are really 12 10, I wouldn't even try 13, and I might be real careful with 14.


Posted By: wa8yxm on 09/06/07 10:03am

Any truck stop will have a "Low bridge" book or trucker's atlas with low bridges marked.. just ask.


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Posted By: wa8yxm on 10/13/07 08:17am

Re reading the op. on this

Any Truck stop will have a book, I'm not sure just what the title is but if you ask at the fuel counter for the "Low Bridges" book, they should know what you mean

It lists the height for any bridge under so many feet and inches (I think 14'6" but am not sure)

One thing you need to know... Many parking structures will have a sign, often on a hanging pipe, that says something like "Clearance 12 foot"

The pipe, however, is hanging at 11 feet

Last time in Las Vegas the couple parked next to me had flown in to pick up a brand new Class C, The dealer picked them up at the airport and drove them to the lot, gave them the delivery tour and they came over and hooked up next to me. NO TOWED since they flew in.

Well.... They decided to go to dinner down at Sam's Town and the sign on the pipe said they had room to park in the structure so in they went.. The Class C had one of those "Flying saucer" TV antennas on it's roof, HAD being the operative word here, the pipe slid right under it and tore it all to..... Pieces, then it sprang up (since it's hanging on chain it can do this) and came back down..... Right on top of the bathroom vent cover.

Brand new class C, Sticker still in window, Big gaping hole in the roof, TV antenna all covered in duct tape. Vent cover smashed, Sticker still in window.


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