Crane Avenue Overpass Closed After Truck Causes Severe Damage 9/25/13
September 25, 2013
Odessa - Another bridge is closed in the Permian basin after a truck traveling on I-20 struck a bridge yesterday causing severe damage. Now officials are saying these accidents are getting so out of hand that they have formed a special committee to bring awareness.
Just in the past year and a half TxDOT has seen at least 30 overpasses hit in the Odessa District. In most cases it only takes one bridge to stop an 18-wheeler after an accident. However Tuesdays wreck was out of the ordinary, after hitting not one but four different bridges the truck finally came to a stop.
“The five years before that there was probably only ten in five years. It’s becoming a huge problem,” said Odessa District TxDOT Spokesman Gene Powell.
The damage was severe; all eight beams holding up the bridge were hit. “To have that many strands severed, the load-bearing capabilities of the overpass are compromised,” said Powell. Forcing the highly traveled Crane Avenue overpass to be shut down for at least a year. But many are wondering who will be paying for these damages.
“Anytime we know who caused the damage we will go after them and their insurance to recoup the money,” said Powell.
Powell says they cannot receive the money however until after the funds come out of TxDOT’s pockets.
“If we are spending money cleaning up after others and repairing bridges that shouldn’t have been hit, then that really does slow some of the other things we could do with the money,” said Powell.
By state law all trucks over fourteen feet must obtain a permit that shows what roads are safest and have the tallest bridges. Powell says until drivers slow down and follow these routes, accidents like this will continue to be an inconvenience to the Permian Basin.