Trucking company blames customer for nearly $2 million bridge strike

"...the early determination is that the load that we picked up and transported ... was not the load that we were expecting or told we were hauling."

Trucking company blames customer for nearly $2 million bridge strike

An Alaska-based trucking company is pinning the blame for a costly bridge strike that happened last week on their customer’s failure to load an oversized module unit properly.

The bridge strike occurred on March 21 in Eagle River, Alaska, when an oversized modular unit hauled by Fairbanks-based Bighorn Enterprises struck the Glenn Highway overpass, causing $1.8 million worth of structural damage.

The modular unit was one of hundreds being transported to Seward to act as temporary housing for workers.

The bridge strike shut down the southbound lanes of the only roadway connecting Mat-Su and Anchorage for days, causing severe traffic backups and forcing thousands of drivers to use hours-long detours.

Though the Alaska Department of Transportation is investigating the bridge strike and considering taking action against Bighorn Enterprises, the trucking company has issued a statement that places the early blame for the incident on the customer PRL Logistics.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Bighorn Enterprises applied for and received a permit for a 17 foot high load to go under the 19 foot Glenn Highway overpass. However, according the Bighorn, PRL Logistics failed to pre-load the unit properly: “We are continuing to investigate but the early determination is that the load that we picked up and transported on March 21 was not the load that we were expecting or told we were hauling.”

Bighorn Enteprises also apologized to locals for the disruption to their commute.

Following their investigation, the Alaska DOT will determine what, if any, penalties that Bighorn Enterprises must pay for the bridge strike.