PennDOT seeks $400,000 from trucker's insurance after bridge strike

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line associate editor | Friday, November 20, 2015

Pennsylvania transportation officials say they will seek reimbursement from a trucker who struck and damaged a bridge on a state highway earlier this week.

(Courtesy PennDOT)

Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation inspect a beam on the Burgs Lane Bridge overpass on Route 30 near Hellam Township. The bridge was struck by a tractor-trailer hauling heavy equipment.

The bridge strike happened at night on Monday, Nov. 16, when a tractor trailer hauling heavy equipment struck the bottom of the Burgs Lane bridge over Route 30 near Hellam Township in York County, Pa. The strike was severe enough to cause the state department of transportation to order emergency repairs of the bridge, shutting down portions of the roadway due to concerns that a portion of the damaged beam might fall and injure or kill motorists.

PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said the state will be seeking reimbursement from the trucker’s insurance company.

“It cost roughly $200,000 this week to close the road and remove the damaged beam,” Penny said in a phone interview with Land Line on Friday. “We anticipate that replacing the beam or installing a new beam next spring will cost probably around $200,000, so that’s the very rough estimate of the cost for compensation that we’d be looking for reimbursement from the driver’s insurance carrier.”

(Courtesy PennDOT)

A close up of damage to the fascia beam of the Burgs Lane Bridge. State highway officials closed the bridge and authorized emergency repairs amid concerns that debris might fall and injure or kill motorists on Route 30.

Penny said the clearance at the bridge is 14 feet, 1 inch, and that he was unaware whether the trucker had a pilot car guiding him. He referred questions about the actual bridge strike to the Hellam Township Police Department. Officials with the police department did not return a request for comment on Friday.

PennDOT reopened the eastbound lanes of Route 30 on Wednesday evening. According to the agency, average daily traffic on this portion of the route is 23,545 vehicles.

Based on early estimates on procuring the services of a private contractor to conduct the emergency work, PennDOT initially announced that eastbound Route 30 could remain closed until Friday. Tonight’s reopening of eastbound Route 30 is ahead of schedule.

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