Driver crashes semi-truck into I-44 bridge over State Highway 49

LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) -Repairs are underway on a busy overpass after a semi-truck hit it on Tuesday. It caused the I-44 bridge over State Highway 49 at the Medicine Park exit to temporarily close.

Drivers were held up in traffic and had to make detours following the accident.

“Because he hit like eight or nine beams on both bridges," said State Trooper Zachary Wright.

Tracy Terrill with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said workers inspected the bridge and a structural engineer evaluated the damage.

“We took measurements of how far out the alignment the beams were," said Terrill. "We’ll probably have a contractor do flange straightening on the bridge and straighten bottom flanges of the beams out. And get those back in alignment and smooth.”

He said the overloaded semi truck was carrying a trackhoe excavator which was removed when they arrived. He said it could cost over 300-thousand dollars to fix the bridge.

State Trooper Zachary Wright said the damage was minor but could have been much worse.

Wright said drivers carrying over-sized loads are required to have a permit.

“If you’re carrying a CDL in our eyes you are considered a professional driver," said Wright. "We ask that all truck drivers be prepared and abide by state laws when moving and operating heavy equipment and machinery.”

Which Terrill said could prevent another accident like this from happening again.

“It’s important that drivers of those vehicles understand how high their loads are and how low the bridges are that they are going under and it’s their responsibility to not hit our bridges," said Terrill.

The accident is still under investigation.

Engineers say it is safe to drive on the bridge. They did not have a timeline on when it will be fully repaired.

Copyright 2018 RNN Texoma. All rights reserved.