A tractor-trailer carrying an oversized load crashed into a bridge over Interstate 93 in Medford, Massachusetts outside Boston yesterday afternoon, instantly necessitating months of repair work that is already underway.
This morning, Boston-area CBS affiliate WBZ-TV reported that teams are already demolishing parts of the bridge. In addition to I-93, nearby Routes 1, 16 and 28 are expected to be strained over the coming weeks, State Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver told the news channel after the incident.
“It will at least be months, it’s a pretty, this is a complex structure. As you know we don’t have a lot of bridges on a curve like that one so it’s going to take some time to put repairs into place,” Gulliver said.
Footage of the crash as it happened doesn’t appear to be out there. The blue object the truck was carrying was clearly over height by a significant margin, busting through the bridge’s concrete and supporting beams. One person was taken to a local hospital, according to Medford Firefighters Local 1032, who responded to the scene.
Strangely, nobody seems to be able to say for sure precisely what the cargo was — the local NBC affiliate called it “ a large piece of equipment” — though industrial tank, grain tower or buoy appear to be the best guesses for the moment. Can you identify it? (I think it’s a water tank--ED)
The curve of the bridge suggests the driver might’ve had better luck traveling in the left-most lane, though even that’s hard to say given that this wasn’t the kind of low-bridge incident where the margins were just slight enough to merely shave the roof off a passing truck. There was no way this unidentified blue thing was getting through without a fight.
Bostonians reading this will be no doubt familiar with such phenomena, particularly because of the bridge over Storrow Drive and its 10-foot clearance limit. It’s claimed a litany of victims, many of them box trucks rented by people moving in and out of apartments on September 1 every year. Apparently the bulk of the city’s leases operate on September-to-September schedules — and not just housing for college students — which sounds like a miserable, bad idea City Hall should have addressed decades ago. But I digress!
Anyway, if you regularly travel these routes around Medford, we wish you the best of luck in the coming months. And if you happen to be hauling a large buoy-shaped structure under the uncompromising bridges of Boston, please do take care.