Increasing number of big trucks hitting Ohio bridges

| 6/24/2008

A crash Monday, June 16, on Interstate 75 near Dayton, OH, marked the 15th time a vehicle had hit and damaged an overpass since June 2007, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The agency has spent $1.9 million in the past year on emergency repairs – up from a recent average of about $600,000 a year, Ohio DOT spokesman Scott Varner told The Associated Press.

It’s unclear why bridge incidents are on the rise. Increased truck traffic and a desire to economize fuel by carrying larger loads might be a factor, but the types of crashes have varied. Two of them were fatalities and involved trash haulers who hadn’t completely lowered their beds.

Any crashes, but especially those involving damage to bridges, can trigger massive jams and disrupt traffic for weeks during repairs.

The AP reported that by 2020 Ohio transportation officials project a 50 percent increase in the amount of freight moving across highways in the stretch of states from Ohio to Minnesota.