Texas Raising Much-Struck Bridge
March 19, 2001
Texas work crews have begun raising the Denton Drive bridge over Interstate 35E
by 16 inches.
When the project is complete in three weeks the bridge, which catches at least one truck per week, will span the interstate at a height of 15.5 feet.
The state has had to inspect or repair the bridge about six times a year, said Philip
Simons with the Texas Department of Transportation. "You name it, it's hit it," Mr.
Simons told The Dallas Morning News.
"Sometimes, trailer houses come
through and get the whole top knocked off them."
The crashes have meant serious delays for motorists and repair bills for the truckers involved, not only for damaged equipment or freight, but also from the state for bridge repairs.
There is a flashing light with signs posted to warn truckers about the bridge height. The bridge meets the minimum state height of 13 feet 6 inches. But truckers don't always check their route when they carry loads that exceed allowable heights, according to the Transportation Department. Accidents became more common when truck traffic increased after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994.
The bridge raising will cost Texas $191,800. Work should be complete April 12.