Montana transportation officials were forced to shut down a 120 year old bridge until further notice after a truck that far exceeded the structure’s seven ton weight limit drove across it, causing serious damage.
Trucker Takes 35 Ton Load Across 7 Ton Bridge
Officials say that on December 12, a trucker (with nerves of steel) driving for a company out of Great Falls took a 35 ton load of rocks across the Dearborn River High Bridge, which is located about 15 miles southwest from Augusta, Montana.
The Dearborn River High Bridge on Bean Lake Road was built in 1897 and is the only one of its kind left in the United States. Originally meant to carry wagons, the bridge was restored for $1 million in 2003. https://t.co/dZO32uW8rJ
— Great Falls Tribune (@GFTribune) December 19, 2017
The heavy load far exceeded the seven ton weight limit for the bridge and caused damage to the structure’s deck and railing. Transportation officials are still trying to determine the full extent of damage to the Dearborn River High Bridge.
Lewis and Clark County Public Works Director Eric Griffin said that the trucker hauling the rocks must’ve missed signage warning about the bridge’s weight limit: “Whoever was driving wasn’t paying attention to the sign.”
Griffin said that the bridge will remain closed until further notice: “We need to do more investigation. From a safety concern, we closed the bridge.”
County Considers Charging Too-Heavy Trucker
Officials in Lewis and Clark County are considering pressing charges against the trucker.
The Dearborn River High Bridge was constructed in 1897 and was originally designed to carry horse-drawn wagons across the Dearborn River. The Montana Department of Transportation spent $1 million to renovate the bridge in 2003. The bridge is believed to be the last last standing pin-connected Pratt half-deck truss bridge left in America.
The incident remains under investigation.