HAVERHILL — Since the state reopened the historic Rocks Village Bridge in 2013 after major repairs, a number of tall trucks have come in contact with sections of overhead steel pieces of the bridge.
The latest incident of a truck coming in contact with the bridge structure took place on Tuesday, when the top of a box truck scraped the bridge structure overhead, peeling off the roof of the truck.
Traffic on the bridge was halted for about a half-hour while the broken roof pieces were being removed.
Phil Demers of Derry told The Eagle-Tribune he was driving a box truck for The Bell Pump Service Company of Methuen — carrying HVAC, refrigeration and plumbing supplies — when the incident happened about 9 a.m.
The fiberglass roof of the truck was peeled off as the vehicle traveled from West Newbury to the Haverhill side of the bridge. Demers said he had just delivered supplies to West Newbury.
West Newbury police arrived at the bridge and the incident delayed traffic there until the truck could be moved to the Haverhill side of the bridge where it was parked until state inspectors arrived.
As traffic was moving across the bridge after the delay, inspectors reviewed a steel cross member, which was not structurally compromised.
They said the impact area was about in the middle of the span.
MassDOT spokesman Patrick Marvin said crews inspected the bridge and reported that the bridge remains safe for travel as there is no damage that would require any immediate repairs. He said maintenance to a lateral bridge brace will be conducted in the future.
A sign on each end of the bridge says the height limit for vehicles is 12 feet-6 inches. Most trucks display a label listing their height, but the truck involved in Tuesday morning's incident does not.
Demers said he has driven the truck across the bridge several times with no problems, but a state inspector said it is possible someone reinflated the truck's tires before Tuesday's incident or the truck's load was heavier in the past. Each of those scenarios could raise the height of the truck.
The inspector said several trucks have had similar problems on the bridge since it was rebuilt in 2013.
Marvin noted that signage is present at this location informing drivers of the height restriction.