Semi-truck gets stuck in Bankhead Tunnel, making it the second truck to get stuck this week

Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 8:07 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- Another truck got stuck in the Bankhead Tunnel Wednesday morning, making it the second time in three days.

The semi-truck was stuck for a few hours in the tunnel’s eastbound lane, a wreaker having to lift heavy metal poles from the bed of the semi before the truck was able to safely back up.

Just on Monday, a big rental truck also got stuck going the same way.

The Bankhead Tunnel has experienced more traffic with the Wallace Tunnel being closed Sunday-Thursday overnight for repaving. ALDOT has been re-routing trucks a different way, but none of their signs tell trucks to go through the Bankhead Tunnel.

Daniel Driskell, an Operations Engineer with ALDOT said there are five different devices that are used to alert trucks too tall to go through the tunnel.

“We have overhead sensors that are laser beams, that when that laser beam is broken it sends a signal to our system, which has sirens and flashing signs, stop signs that come up,” said Driskell.

So the question is, even with all the warnings, why does this keep happening? Driskell said it’s typically because drivers do not know the area well, or are just not paying attention.

“I think drivers that are not familiar with the area and their only looking at their GPS and navigation, not realizing that there’s a height restriction for the Bankhead Tunnel,” said Driskell.

Navigation services like Google and Waze may be directing the trucks to go through the tunnel, which could be part of the problem.

“We’re working with the different navigation companies to get their maps updated to show that Bankhead is in fact closed to trucks,” said Driskell.

Driskell believes once the navigation maps are fixed, it will stop this from happening so frequently.

ALDOT said they expect that change to be made within the next several days.