TxDOT says there were seven incidents on Houston freeways last year where oversized trucks hit bridges because their loads were too high.
The most recent accident happened December 2 on a Southwest Freeway connector ramp to the 610 West Loop. That accident caused damage to a bridge beam.
TxDOT’s Danny Perez says when extensive repairs are needed, drivers have to find another route, sometimes for an entire weekend.
“It’s going to tie up lanes. For instance we have to close one of the connectors, we have to close the bridge. It does tie up some of the main lanes.”
But why do these accidents happen in the first place? Perez says drivers of oversized trucks are supposed to know the height of their load.
“That’s part of the permit process. They provide the height and that’s the permit that they’re given. And through the permit process they’re given the routes to take.”
But Perez says they are looking at better signage to help keep these accidents from happening.
“There are some bridges where we’ve had some issues in the past. We’re putting some advance warning, just to let them know what’s ahead so they can take an alternate route or a detour.”
As for who pays for damages when a truck hits a bridge, Perez says TxDOT works to recoup that money from the trucking firm’s insurance company.