WHEELING, W.Va. — A large vehicle which crossed the Wheeling Suspension Bridge damaged the bridge’s clearance signs prohibiting oversized loads, leading to the bridge’s temporary closing.
Wheeling police Lt. Rob Marriner said the vehicle in question was a garbage truck headed into downtown from Wheeling Island at 12:16 p.m. Thursday.
“Garbage trucks come from all over to get through to North Fork Landfill,” Marriner said. “Reports that came in to us said there was a white dump truck, with unclear or no lettering, that crossed the bridge and knocked out both signs.”
Marriner said the department is investigating the issue, which would likely yield results after checking who visited the landfill. The driver faces possible charges of destruction of property.
According to Division of Highways?district engineer Gus Suwaid, the bridge closing was a precautionary measure to prevent potential damage from more vehicles crossing, leading to structural damage.
“We don’t want to increase the potential of more overweight vehicles crossing the bridge,” Suwaid said.”
Suwaid said the extent of the damage did not extend past the signs, but the engineers on site would take the opportunity to inspect the bridge during the closing.
DOH?spokeswoman Mandy Crow said the bridge is expected to remain closed through Saturday, but inclement weather and other circumstances may extend this.
This is the second time the bridge has been closed in recent weeks, as it was closed for several days last month due to a snapped cable which prevents the span from swaying. Officials said the extreme cold temperatures caused an eye bolt which connects the 400-foot cable to the bridge deck to fail. The bridge reopened after two days.
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