A semi-truck hauling a backhoe hit an I-75 overpass, causing part of southbound I-75 to be blocked.
TV5learned the driver didn’t have a CDL license.
It happened about 8:10 a.m. at the Coldwater Road overpass in Genesee County.
MDOT reports at one point, all lanes of southbound I-75 in that area were closed down, but officials were able to re-open one lane. All lanes were re-opened just before noon.
A bridge inspection crew said they found extensive damage to one of the beams holding up the overpass, and that will require repairs.
Mt. Morris Township Police said the driver is being cited for improper height, improper license, and not having a CDL, or commercial driver's license. That semi-truck has also been impounded.
The Coldwater Road overpass was signed for 14’1”, with a couple inches of “wiggle room” according to MDOT. Officials said the load that hit it was significantly over that height.
MDOT said repairs to the beam will be done down the road, and at that time lane closures will be necessary. Until that time, all lanes should be able to be re-opened.
MDOT spokesperson said "this kind of continued negligence is a strain on our resources and both dangerous and inconvenient for motorists."
No injuries were reported.
"It feels like it's skyrocketing and it puts a tremendous strain on our resources," said Jocelyn Hall, with MDOT. "We signed the bridges to the best of our ability. Overpass is required to be signed if it's under a certain height. in this case the overpass on Coldwater is marked 14'1". And we actually include a couple inches of wiggle room."
While the driver from Monday's crash may have had no business being on the road, many other semi truck crashes that have happened lately are from people trained to drive high load trucks.
According to MDOT, the amount of high load bridge crashes in Mid-Michigan spiked in 2017 by doubling the average number of hits. Just four months into the year, we're almost to the entire yearly average.
"It's concerning to us. It's concerning to law enforcement as well," Hall said.
Hall said this type of situation should serve as a reminder to make sure drivers are following all of the rules of the road.
"There needs to be a significant driver awareness that occurs. Anybody that holds a CDL knows there is a real responsibility that comes along with holding that license," Hall said.
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