Talbot Street Bridge brings misfortune to truck drivers, laughs to Londoners

For decades the Talbot Street Bridge has been the bane of truckers trying to make their way through downtown London and it happened again on Friday.

It happens so frequently that Ed Jackman decided to create a Twitter account for the structure six years ago.

“The spike would occur when students were moving in from out of town and they weren’t aware of the clearance of the bridge,” says Jackman.

The bridge itself is owned by Canadian Pacific and they look after the structure, with the city providing warning signs about it’s height -- or lack thereof.

“It’s the responsibility of the railway to ensure its structural stability and to assess it after any impacts,” says Doug MacRae, the director of Transportation and Mobility with the City of London. “There are beams that are separate from the bridge structure itself but just ahead of the bridge that in fact absorb the impact or take the impact the impact from any errant trucks.”

The city has put up more signage as well to warn truckers in an effort to reduce the number of collisions.

“We added the overhead signage and those introduced not only another visual cue but an audible cue,” says MacRae. “If a truck hits those they do minimal damage to the truck but they do create a noise that alerts a driver of the hazard.”

MacRae says the city has exhausted feasible ways of correcting the design so very little can be done.

“It’s not possible to raise the rail higher or to dig the road deeper due to underground utilities and large sewers,” says MacRae.

Jackman says over the years the Twitter account has taken on a life of its own gaining more and more followers every time someone gets stuck. On average it happens two to five times a year.

“Roughly around 3,300 followers now and whenever a truck happens to have a mishap at the bridge I gain another 50 to 100 followers,” says Jackman.

“It’s all in fun, just as long as no one gets hurt obviously, you know it’s just been kind of a inside joke in London for a number of years now.”

What has 2 thumbs and is going to be on @CTVLondon tonight? The bridge tweeter himself, @edjackman!
Many thanks to @NPaparellaCTV for coming out to chat about #LdnOnt’s favorite bridge… me, of course! pic.twitter.com/dP8jdmXKIP

— Talbot Street Bridge (@TalbotStBridge) September 28, 2021