Some bridges in the United States are having issues without any sort of provocation; however, others need a little… nudge… to really show what they’re made of. Such a nudge, in the form of a dump truck, came to a Georgia overpass crossing Interstate 16 in Treutlen County early Thursday morning.
The dump truck was driving down I-16 with its bed apparently extended up. The bed struck the bridge, disconnecting itself from the chassis of the truck. The resulting impact shifted the entire bridge over on its footings. We’re not talking inches, either. We’re talking feet.
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation on Facebook, the driver of the dump truck is okay. The bridge? Not so much. The interstate is now closed in both directions and traffic over the bridge is, of course, closed as well. The DOT says the bridge shifted as much as six feet in some locations. For those doubting that the bridge was pushed over that much—as many apparently are—the Georgia DOT said on Facebook, “Y’all are killing me. Center line shifted just under 6 feet.” Their social media person added, “Bro we have people out there. It’s just under 6 feet. Not sure why that’s the biggest thing U got from this.”
A series of detours have been set up in the meantime to get people moving around the dangerous bridge via alternate routes. Although there’s no solid timeline to fully restoring the flow of traffic, the plan, as GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry says, is to demolish the bridge. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that westbound traffic away from the port of Savannah will be prioritized, and that demolition of the bridge will begin in earnest today and on Friday.
The Georgia DOT claims the truck bed struck the bridge due to a “malfunction,” although an extensive report of the accident is still unavailable.
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