US-23 re-opened after excavator hits overpass - WNEM TV 5

US-23 re-opened after excavator hits overpass

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM

A busy Mid-Michigan highway is back open after a large excavator hit an overpass. 

It happened around 6:45 a.m. in the southbound lanes of US-23, just south of Grand Blanc Road in Fenton Township.  

The machinery was on a trailer when it hit the Lahring Road overpass, causing the trailer to detach and catch fire.

"Ripped off the back of its trailer, skidded down the freeway about 250 feet," said Ryan Volz, Fenton Township's Fire Chief.

The impact of the crash was enough to "jar" open the seam of the overpass, according to MDOT officials at the scene. The beams of the overpass were bent as well. 

"The excavator that hit the beams damaged them enough that we have concerns how Lahring Road will be able to carry traffic across US-23 safely," said Steve Katenhus, an MDOT bridge engineer.

Engineers have assessed the damage to the bridge and sent their data to Lansing for further review.

"So I looked at the steel that got hit, also how much damage and the concrete deck above," said Katenhus.

It could be days until a decision is made, the Lahring Road bridge will remain closed in the interim.

Meantime, Jocelyn Hall with MDOT says this isn't a unique situation.

"Unfortunately it's been happening more frequently than we would like, and across Michigan, not just here in the Bay Region." 

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