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Should the ‘can opener’ train trestle in downtown Augusta be removed?

Traffic travels under the railroad bridge over Water Street in downtown Augusta. Trucks sometimes get stuck under the low clearance bridge and that has earned it the nickname the “can opener.” Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

The “can opener” train trestle claimed another victim recently, as the latest big rig tractor-trailer got stuck under the 1914-era bridge on Water Street in downtown Augusta.

The incident, like many before it, resulted in the top of the trailer being ripped open. The trestle bridge, which is 12 feet 9 inches tall, has become notorious for damaging trucks too tall to fit under it. Warning signs haven’t seemed to stop some drivers from finding out the hard way that trailer taller than 12 feet, 9 inches are likely to get stuck and badly damaged.

Monday’s incident marked the fifth crash involving a trailer at the site this year, police said, on top of many more that have been reported over the decades.

Even so, officials with the Maine Department of Transportation have told city officials it is unlikely the trestle would be removed because of the state’s obligation to maintain the rail corridor, should rail service eventually return to the area.

But what do you think? Should the ‘can opener’ train trestle in Augusta be removed? Tell us what you think in the poll and comments below.

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