State Mistakingly Issued Permit to Driver Who Struck Overpass

According to Delaware Online, the permit issued to a trucking company to haul an oversized load was erroneously issued.

On Tuesday afternoon, a truck driver hauling an oversized load struck an I-95 overpass.  The load, an 119,500 pound electrical substation, slammed into the overpass, scattering debris across the highway, closing the northbound lanes of Del. 1 for several hours.

“It was a serious mistake. We sincerely regret the damage that resulted and the fact that a dangerous situation occurred,” Geoff Sundstrom, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Transportation, told Delaware Online.

The permit, issued to Art Heavy Haul of Addison, Illinois states that the height of the load was 14’11”.  The clearance for the I-95 overpass at Del. 1 is 14.43′.

Delaware Online reports that in 2011, a clerk at the Division of Motor Vehicles who issues the permits asked about the overpass’ clearance.  The clerk was told the clearance was in excess of 16 feet.

“Since that time, our database has been updated with the correct bridge clearance, but for some reason, DMV did not have up-to-date information,” Sundstrom told Delaware Online.

The load was 99 -feet long, which means it nearly qualified for “super load” status.  Loads that are more than 15 feet in height or are more than 120,000 pounds of gross weight are considered super loads and must “undergo a more in-depth survey by traffic engineers to ensure sufficient clearance of all physical objects along the route,” Delaware Online reports.

Despite the error, Delaware hauling permits state that drivers are responsible for ensuring they have adequate clearance, and that they are responsible for any damage that may occur during the move.

No one was injured in the crash, and no charges have been filed against the driver at this time.  Authorities are investigating the accident.

Source:

Delaware Online