‘Clanker Balls': DelDOT's Creative Clearance Solution for Headache Bridge

Casho Mill Road, nicknamed "Smasho Mill Road" in Newark, Delaware is a popular spot for crashes due to its low clearance. Delaware Department of Transportation is testing out a new solution

NBC Universal, Inc.

Over the last decade, more than 70 vehicles have fallen victim to the low railroad bridge underpass in Newark on Casho Mill Road.

Now, the Delaware Department of Transportation may have found a new solution to stop these oversized vehicles before they risk getting stuck: a series of heavy-duty plastic "clanker" balls that hang at the clearance height down the street before the bridge.

The transportation department says it has spent just about $1 million in various attempts to alert drivers of the low clearance.

"Over the years we've added signage. We've added sensors. We've added flashing lights, striping, lighting, really trying to use all of the tools in our toolbox to try and get people to be aware of their oversize vehicle when approaching this more than century-old bridge," DelDOT's C.R. McLeod told NBC10.

The one-way road -- nicknamed by locals "Smasho Mill Road" -- has an 8-foot, 7-inch clearance that is marked by many signs. The signage has not been enough to stop drivers in oversized trucks from continuing down the road.

The new "clanker" balls will not damage any cars, officials said, instead alerting drivers that the bridge is too low for their vehicle to safely pass under and prompting them to turn around.

This begs this question, has DelDOT finally found its solution? Time will tell.

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