WSDOT: All five bridges in Thurston County struck by excavator boom will need repairs

All five freeway overpasses struck by a dump truck hauling heavy machinery on Friday will require repairs, Washington State Department of Transportation spokesman Doug Adamson said on Tuesday.

“It’s too early to say how much the repairs will cost,” he said. “And WSDOT will seek to cover the bills from the party responsible for the damage.”

The driver, George Russell, 45, of Montesano was driving a 1994 Kenworth dump truck that was pulling a flatbed trailer with an excavator southbound U.S. Highway 101 when the excavator’s boom crashed into an overpass at Crosby Boulevard, according to Washington State Patrol Trooper Guy Gill.

Russell continued driving southbound on Interstate 5, and the boom hit bridges at Trosper Road, milepost 102, 93rd Avenue Southwest and 113th Avenue Southwest. No damage was found to the Tumwater Boulevard overpass.

Russell told authorities he pulled over south of Tumwater to check the truck’s load after feeling some “surges,” but he didn’t know he had hit anything, Gill said.

Two cars struck debris that fell during the collisions and ended up with flat tires. No injuries were reported, and drugs and alcohol were not involved, according to a press memo from the state patrol.

Russell was making a delivery for KD&S Environmental Inc. in Montesano to a rental company in Chehalis, Gill said.

“The Washington State Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division is investigating and he is facing numerous charges,” he said, noting that the citations will likely exceed $1,400.

The fines are expected to include ones for defective equipment, registration and height and weight violations, among others, Gill said.

Three of the bridges -- the ones at Crosby, Trosper and milepost 102 (known as the Dennis Street Pedestrian Bridge which is owned by the city of Tumwater) will require patching, Adamson said.

The overpasses at 93rd and 113th will require additional repairs that include patching and crack sealing, he said.

Crews have determined that the damage wasn’t significant to put restrictions on or under the bridges, he said.

“While the five bridges were damaged, it’s very fortunate the truck did not damage the bridges’ main beams -- called strands -- in any of the overpasses,” Adamson said. “The areas that were damaged were the bottom flanges which are designed to protect the strands.”

In cases like this, WSDOT typically works with an insurance company to recoup the repair costs, Adamson said. No date has been set yet for the repairs.