Dump truck takes out Metro wires at Broadway/Madison

Traffic was blocked in all directions Monday afternoon after a dump truck reportedly knocked down Metro’s electric trolley wiring at Broadway and Madison.

A large truck could be seen sitting just north of the intersection as work crews set about figuring out how to clear the intersection and get traffic moving again.

Metro buses were pulled to the curb full of riders on streets leading to the intersection. SPD blocked the road and directed traffic to swelling side streets across the area.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the big rip ended up ripping down the wires though one early report indicated that its dump bin may have been in a raised position when the incident occurred. 

The uninjured driver remained stuck in the cab as wires hung down over the truck and response crews worked to render the area safe.

SPD summoned a “drug recognition expert” to the scene.

Workers at the scene said there is no ETA for re-opening the intersection.

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14 thoughts on “Dump truck takes out Metro wires at Broadway/Madison

  1. I was approaching the crosswalk just as this happened. In fact, I was already watching the truck because its RAISED dump bin was knocking down bits of tree branches on my head. So, I can’t say I was entirely surprised when the driver wiped out the lines.
    Nor was I surprised that the driver’s reaction was to just slow down and keep pulling the truck forward, in an effort to yank the tangled wires free from the rig.

  2. Checked Komo and SeattleTimes.com to try to figure out what this was about, but they didn’t have a story. CHS comes through once again.
    I detoured around this at 5:10pm; took a while since Broadway+Madison is such a major intersection. They had Metro trucks pushing some of the buses uphill.

  3. Federal law requires the driver who possess a commercial drivers licence to be drug tested when in an accident like this. I do not know why SPD would bring in a drug recognition expert notify his employer and send him in for testing. It must be if they cannot shoot someone they do not know the laws.

  4. This is a perfect example of why it’s so important for trolley coaches to have ‘off-wire’ ability. If this happened in Philadelphia, the trolley coach operator would flip a dashboard switch and the trolley poles would automatically lower. Another dashboard switch would instantly turn on the auxhiliary Diesel engine. Off the coach would go on a detour around the intersection in question. Philadelphia’s transit system doesn’t even bother to station a supervisor at a location like that. The control center would radio the trolley coach operators with instructions on a detour route. No delay in service or inconvenience to riders would occur.

    When Seattle METRO orders its new fleet of trolley coaches, it is imperative that they have ‘off-wire’ ability and automatic trolley poles.

  5. Or at least some way to store the electricty to give it time to move the bus to a safe place and stop blocking traffic. 10th Ave E sucked. Had to weave around 3 busses by driving on the left side of the road along a curvy road where you can’t see oncoming traffic.

  6. Yeah, let’s outfit them all with expensive secondary systems that need maintenance in the off chance a jackass dump truck driver pulls the wires down. We’ll use all that surplus money metro has!

  7. To: A neighbor…..auxiliary power systems need not be expensive. All it takes is a small Diesel engine to generate the power. It’s not a completely seperate, expensive power plant. The ‘off-wire’ feature is used for many things, not just a truck tearing the overhead wires down. They can be used in case of blockages caused by a fire, police activity, a parade, a sewer or water main job, street construction, wire work, etc. They give an electric trolley coach all of the flexibility of a Diesel bus.

    To: ej……..I live in New Jersey, always have {so I don’t need to go back}. But I once did visit Seattle back in the 1970’s…..great town. I envy you your hydro-electric generating system.

    To: David……the battery EPU will not offer the range of the Diesel auxiliary engine. SEPTA in Philly uses the Diesel EPU several times a day, in some cases. Batteries need to be recharged. The Diesel EPU can be used multiple times for many reasons.