2017-02-15 / News

Bridge sustains minor damage after semi-truck strikes it Friday

LAPEER TWP. — According to investigators, a semi-truck hauling a pair of heavy-duty forklifts on Clark Road Friday didn’t cause too much damage when it struck a bridge that carries I-69 traffic over it.

Lapeer Township Police Dept. Chief Jerry Gwyn said a forklift struck one of the beams under the eastbound I-69 bridge. The driver told Gwyn that his load measured 13-feet, 6-inches tall and the signs on both sides of the bridge indicated there was 14 feet of clearance.

Chad Skrocki, a bridge inspector for the Michigan Dept. of Transportation (MDOT), said those signs indicate the lowest point under the bridge, which was where the forklift got stuck between the bridge and trailer. The impact twisted the bottom of one of the I-beams “an inch of two.”

After an MDOT crew does a more detailed inspection, a report will be sent to a review committee in Lansing. However, Skrocki said the bridge doesn’t appear to be compromised.

Eventually a repair crew will heat up the damaged beam until it’s cherry red and bend it back in place. The repairs, Skrocki said, will likely be charged to the trucking company and its insurance carrier.

“It happens more often than we’d like,” he said, noting large trucks hit bridges around the state on average five to 10 times a year.

— Phil Foley

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