$460K settlement after truck driver took 42 ton truck over 14 ton bridge, caused collapse

An insurance company has agreed to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars following the collapse of an historic bridge in North Dakota last year.

An insurance company representing a Larimore, North Dakota-based trucking company has agreed to pay out $460,000 after the collapse of a 114 year old bridge, according to reporting from the Grand Forks Herald.

The bridge collapse occurred on July 22, 2019, in Northwood, North Dakota.

The Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department described the incident:

On 07/22/2019, at approximately 1:15pm, Michael Dodds was driving a 2005 Peterbilt truck tractor pulling a trailer loaded with dry beans west on 3rd Avenue NE, southwest of Northwood, ND. Approximately 1.5 miles southwest of Northwood, the truck travelled over a 56’ long restricted-weight bridge over the Goose River. The bridge collapsed, and the trailer became hung up on the west abutment.

The bridge was rated for 14 ton gross weight with restrictions marked. It was built in 1906 and listed on the National Registrar of Historic places. Dodds’ weight was just over 43 ton, or 86,750 pounds. An overload citation of $11,400.00 was issued. Dodds was uninjured. Due to the bridge being out, 3rd Avenue NE is closed between 36th Street NE and 37th Street NE. The estimated replacement cost of the bridge is between $800,000.00 and $1,000,000.00. The Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the North Dakota Highway Patrol, The Grand Forks County Highway Department and Interstate Towing. The incident remains under investigation.

The Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office later clarified: “Weight of the truck was 84,560 pounds, or just over 42 ton. It was loaded with 49,820 pounds of dry beans. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.”