FM 849 bridge at I-20 closed after tank strikes structure

FM 849 bridge at I-20 closed after tank strikes structure
Source: KLTV viewer
Source: KLTV viewer
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

HIDEAWAY, TX (KLTV) - A bridge on FM 849, over Interstate 20, has been closed after officials say a truck hauling a large tank struck a bridge.

About 10 a.m. Tuesday, Lindale Police Department and Lindale Fire Department responded to the intersection of FM 849 and Interstate 20.

Preliminary reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety indicate that a truck towing a flatbed trailer with an oil tank was traveling west on Interstate 20 when the tank struck the underside of the overpass on FM 849.

"The impact caused the tank to roll off the trailer, through the concrete barriers and into the eastbound lane," DPS said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says traffic was temporarily down to one lane on eastbound Interstate 20. Crews are still working to determine if the bridge was damaged.

Last week, Smith County commissioners voted to close the bridge for repair and replacement. The wreck may move that project up on the county's schedule.

Lindale Police Department released a statement on the crash Tuesday morning:

"Troopers have currently been requested to assist Lindale Police Department in an investigation involving a tanker trailer that reported separated from its cab and rolled into the bridge support. The bridge is closed at this time as well as one lane eastbound on IH-20.  Traffic continues to flow, motorists are encouraged to use caution in the area.  Texas Department of Transportation officials have been notified and are in route to evaluate the bridge structure."

About 5 p.m., the Texas Department of Transportation released a statement on the incident:

"The Texas Department of Transportation has closed the FM 849 Bridge at I-20 in Hideaway after the westbound bridge was hit this morning by an oversized load carrying a tank vessel. Bridge engineers are traveling to the area to evaluate the structural damage to the FM 849 Bridge. I-20 has returned to normal traffic flow.

'Bridge experts from Austin are coming in today to evaluate and assist the district in assessing the damage and developing plans for future repair or potential replacement," said Kathi White, TxDOT Public Information Officer. "FM 849 will remain closed until the structural evaluation and any necessary repairs are complete to ensure the safety of the traveling public.'

I-20 eastbound was reduced to one lane for several hours after the incident because the vessel landed in the eastbound inside lane after being knocked off the truck. The concrete barrier dividing the eastbound and westbound lanes as well as some westbound pavement was also damaged. The vessel was removed from the scene around 1 p.m.

TxDOT had previously completed construction plans to replace the structure in anticipation of future funding opportunities. Having the plans complete will greatly expedite the repair or replacement as determined by the analysis."

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