1987: End of the line for the ‘Kessler Can Opener’

Posted at 5:30 AM, Dec 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-01 05:30:03-05

INDIANAPOLIS — From 1983 through 1987, the former Monon Railroad overpass over Kessler Boulevard claimed some 20 unsuspecting victims.

At 11 feet, 4 inches tall, the bridge became the bane of truck and delivery drivers alike.

Neighbors coined the bridge the "Kessler Can Opener" for the way it ripped open the oversized vehicles that dared to pass beneath it.

In November 1987, WRTV reporter Greg Todd talked with Beth Beyer, an unlucky passenger, who was inside a vehicle that collided with the bridge.

“The next thing I know, I’m flying through midair and hit pavement,” Beyer said.

Beyer spent several days in the hospital but later returned to the site of the crash with a smile on her face.

“I’m very excited,” she said. “I won’t get jitters when I’m driving down Kessler anymore.”

No jitters because there was no longer a bridge.

Contractors removed the structure since it was no longer being used for rail traffic. The overpass was later replaced with a pedestrian bridge as part of the Monon Trail.