Truck/Bridge Accident

How fast do you have to be going to slice a bridge in half? If you are an engineer or physicist estimate the forces and expended energy on this one!

From the June 24th, 2006 - Topeka Capital-Journal On Line News:

HAYS -- The Kansas Department of Transportation said repairs to a 45-foot gap in a bridge over Interstate 70 should be done by August and could cost up to half a million dollars.

Kevin Zimmer, an area engineer for the Transportation Department, said contractors should have the deck of the bridge poured by July 4. Then workers will begin on the curb and rails.

The bridge near Hays was damaged Feb. 13 [Note:depending on which news article you read this was either the 13th, 14th, or 15th. The photos above show the 14th on the camera, which may or may not have been correct], when it was struck by a flatbed trailer owned by Lee Construction. The truck was carrying a track hoe excavator, which struck the overpass and knocked a hole in the bridge, forcing an 11-day closure of the eastbound lanes of the interstate.

The driver, Michael M. Conley, was cited for deviating from his assigned route.

Zimmer has said the Transportation Department had to dip into its emergency funds to pay for traffic control after the accident and remove the damaged part of the overpass. He said the state plans to forward a bill for the repair work to Lee Construction's insurance company.

"We're focusing on rebuilding the bridge," he said. "At the end, we'll recap all of our expenses to the date."