Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Work Zone Wednesday: Excavator vs. Bridge
As part of Work Zone Wednesday we have been telling you about work zones that are already in progress and have been planned for. Here's an example of a work zone that wasn't planned for, and could have easily been avoided.
Earlier this spring a driver hauling an excavator hit a bridge near Hutchinson, on the westbound lanes of U.S. 50 and the K-14 bridge overhead. The driver had failed to account for and was over the overpass height limit.
After emergency crews cleaned up the hydraulic fluid and fuel leak, KDOT crews began to assess the the damage done to the bridge. The bridge was hit with such force that the excavator's cabin, arm and shovel were removed once the boom hit the overpass, the rest of the excavator was still attached to the trailer. A crane was then needed to remove the damaged equipment.
No significant structural damage had occurred but a investigation found that the impact had first hit the concrete girder, damaging not just the concrete but the horizontal beam under the second girder. Bridge decking and concrete girders were replaced following the crash.
No one was injured in the crash, but it's a reminder for every driver to plan their drive ahead of time, including checking the requirements of the roads that they travel on. While driving, stay alert and check the posted signs.