An accident involving a dump truck and a
dilapidated bridge in
has unearthed structural problems in nearly one-fourth of all of the state’s
On Thursday, Aug. 18, near
truck driver Leon G. Kelley, while in his truck, fell through a collapsed part
of the deck of a 78-year-old bridge and landed 20 feet below into Sherman
Creek. He was taken to the hospital, but suffered only minor injuries, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported.
According to a press release from Greg Penny
of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, an investigation is underway
to determine whether Kelley’s tri-axle truck was over the bridge’s 15-ton
weight limit. Following the accident, PennDOT also released a warning to
truckers to stay off of bridges where they exceed the weight limits.
However, the release also said the bridge was
scheduled for a $2.3 million reconstruction beginning next year. Gary Hoffman,
PennDOT deputy secretary for highway administration, also told the Patriot-News that 22 percent of the
state’s 25,000 bridges are structurally deficient, and carry with them a repair
price tag in the billions of dollars.
“Our bridges have an average age of over 50
years,” Hoffman said.
According to PennDOT, they invested about $363 million last year into
the rehabilitation, preservation or replacement of 264 bridges. This year, the
department will invest about $350 million to rehabilitate, or replace about 270