MEDFORD, Mass. — The driver of the tractor-trailer that struck a bridge on I-93 South in Medford near Roosevelt Circle has been cited by Mass. State Police, the organization announced Tuesday. That driver is facing two civil offenses, being over height and violating a permit issued by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Each citation comes with a fine of $105.
“The height of the truck with its load measured 14′9″; the truck was permitted for a maximum height of 14′,” Mass. State Police wrote in a release Tuesday afternoon.
“Additionally, the driver violated the permit for not having flag cars and for being off-route, as the permitted route of transport through Massachusetts was as follows: Interstate 84 at Connecticut state line to Route 20 to Interstate 395 to Interstate 290 to Interstate 495 to Route 3 to Interstate 95 to Route 1 to Route 99 with a destination of Everett. Route 93 was not on the permitted route.”
That driver has only been identified as a 57-year-old Alabama man. He refused medical attention at the scene while his passenger, identified as a 54-year-old Alabama woman, was taken to Mass. General Hospital with minor injuries.
Major repairs over I-93 South are underway, and the state said another morning commute could see the same delays as today. Dove Transporation, the company from Alabama that employs the driver, would only tell us to stop calling because they are trying to run a business. We even tried to tell them that we are just trying to find out how this could have happened because it is causing major problems for drivers here.
The day after the crash, drivers were sitting in traffic all morning and day. Eric Fahey heard the crash outside his home near 93 and now he is dealing with the impact the day after.
“I’ll have to leave earlier and probably get home later on because there will be more traffic with people looking at it from the other side,” Fahey said.
State highway administrator Jonathan Gulliver said the work to repair the bridge is complicated because it is right over four lanes of 93 South. Right now, traffic is squeezed down to two lanes while crews use the other two lanes to shore up the bridge. The repairs to the actual bridge will likely take months.
“We need to remove a steel beam and some concrete that right now is not stable,” Gulliver said.
State Police are investigating whether Dove Transportation LLC out of Alabama or its driver broke any state laws. The truck was carrying a large water clarifying tank used in wastewater treatment, State Police said, which was higher than the bridge clearance.
“The metal tank being hauled came into contact with the first and second structural beams of the underside of the bridge,” State Police wrote Tuesday. “The first beam was split in two and the second was bowed from the impact.”
We pulled the safety record for Dove Transportation and found violations including speeding, failure to secure load and exceeding weight limits. According to federal truck safety officials, Dove Transporation had a conditional rating, which means they were out of compliance with one or more safety requirements.
Boston drivers like Doug O’Brien said this is going to compound an already bad traffic problem.
“It is messy. It’s a problem with New England, the Boston area, you have kind of no choices. We have Storrow [Drive], we have 93 and both north and south 93 is all you got. Kind of brutal,” O’Brien said.
The highway administrator seems to think once they stabilize the bridge, they can open more lanes of 93, so right now the impact there is still up in the air. But the traffic circle above 93, which is very busy is expected to be impacted for at least four months.
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