A bridge collapse on the 215 Freeway south of Riverside, California, closed traffic on Tuesday and Wednesday, with construction crews scrambling to fix the overpass and clear the road after it was hit by a truck.
California Highway Patrol officials reported that the big rig hit a K-rail and structural support beam at the construction site and overturned in the northbound lanes near the Perris Boulevard exit as the bridge lurched downward, sagging onto the highway below. No injuries were reported among commuters or construction crews.
"If you have to travel this area, please, please use alternate routes," California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Monks told KTLA
. "If can avoid this area, avoid it."
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According to the Los Angeles Times
, the collapse happened at roughly 10 a.m. Tuesday, and the truck spilled sand it was hauling onto the highway. Engineers were working on the 215 Freeway-Route 71 freeway interchange project. There have been no announcements as to any delays the crash may cause for the project.
"I just heard a big old bang and that bridge came down on me and my trailer," the driver of the truck told NBC Los Angeles
. After speaking with several witnesses, however, local authorities maintain that he hit the bridge first.
Hartwick & Hand, Inc., the company that operates the truck, has satisfactory inspection reviews. The company transports mostly dry bulk commodities, owns roughly 65 truck tractors, and employs 60 drivers.
Southbound lanes reopened later on Tuesday, while northbound lanes were expected to be closed through the night on Wednesday.
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