MILWAUKEE — A semi-truck driver who got stuck under a Bay View bridge Wednesday blamed a clearance sign he said he could not see.
Ken Beaver said as he drove through Stewart Street his company GPS told him to turn right onto Kinnickinnic Avenue. It is a tight turn, and Beaver said when he made it, he did not see a sign to show how low the bridge was.
"They are 100% important," said Beaver. "Signs are everything."
"I stopped because this is a common occurrence over here: Semi-trucks getting stuck under this bridge," said witness Bill Kratzke.
Curious, Kratzke stopped at the scene and took pictures. He noticed that 12-foot, 9-inch clearance was there but turned backward.
"I couldn't believe it," said Beaver.
"The lower bolt was removed, and the sign was rotated 180 degrees so that it was not readable," Kratzke said.
On Friday, the sign in question had a new bolt and an additional clearance sign was added to a nearby light post at Stewart and Kinnickinnic. There are three warnings from Becher Street to the bridge.
"I stopped because this is a common occurrence over here: Semi-trucks getting stuck under this bridge." — witness Bill Kratzke
Beaver said he has been driving trucks for 18 years. He explained from the direction he was turning and how close the bridge was he could not gauge how low it was.
"If I would’ve seen the sign I would’ve maneuvered somehow to get around it," he said. "Go a different route. I don't do anything not safe."
We reached out to the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works about who maintains the streets signs, but with Friday's holiday we could not expect a response until next week.