EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

June 21, 2014

Tractor-trailer hit causes bridge closure in Amesbury

Structure reopened after state inspection finds it safe

AMESBURY — Traffic was re-routed for two and a half hours yesterday morning after a 48-foot tractor-trailer truck hit the top of Bailey Bridge on Main St. around 10 a.m., but it was re-opened after a state inspection showed the bridge to be stable and not compromised by the accident.

“The bridge is secure and is everything is fine,” DPW director Robert Desmarais said yesterday afternoon.

According to Amesbury Police Department Lt. Bill Scholtz, the truck was traveling westbound on Main St. just before 10 a.m. and hit the bridge’s decorative superstructure, damaging both the upper lattice work and pealing back the roof of the trailer, leaving it on the side of the road.

Traffic on Main Street backed up immediately after the run-in and the situation was compounded when a 53-foot tractor trailer came along soon after the accident and could not immediately turn around.

Amesbury Police responded and the bridge was closed. Mass Department of Transportation was called in to inspect the bridge and according to MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes, the damage was merely cosmetic.

“We received a call from the Amesbury Police regarding a truck that hit the overhead truss on the bridge that carries Main Street over the Powow River in Amesbury,” Verseckes said. “A bridge inspection team assessed (the bridge) for damage. The only damage found was to the overhead truss which supports no weight. Several years ago, stringer beams were added to the bridge to improve its structural capacity and provide additional support, this in turn, took the weight off the truss, making it more or less ornamental.”

According to Scholtz, the bridge’s truss is frequently damaged by large trucks. The truck was removed and the bridge was reopened to vehicular traffic around 12:30 p.m.

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