Bridge over I-95 has been struck by trucks 11 times since 1998

Posted at 10:34 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 23:22:43-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- For the eleventh time since 1998, a bridge over I-95 in Henrico County was struck by a truck Wednesday morning, according to county officials.

Raymond Lipscomb and his neighbors live on what he calls an unintended cul-de-sac on Scott Road in Henrico County.

"Once the bridge is closed it boxes us in," Lipscomb said.

The bridge along Scott Road that they would normally use to cross over I-95 to get to Parham Road repeatedly closes after being struck by trucks.

"It's common place anymore... we live with it," Lipscomb said.

In fact, VDOT said it most recently closed back in September when a truck over the current height restrictions struck the overpass.

It hadn't even re-opened when yet another truck hit the bridge Wednesday morning.

The Assistant Director of Public Works in Henrico, Michael Jennings, said the bridge's height, 14 feet, 6 inches, does not meet modern height standards of 16 feet, although the current legal height for a bridge in Virginia is 13 feet, 6 inches.

"So trucks that are below the typical minimum of 16 feet are supposed to be restricted in this area," Jennings said.

Signs posted along the highway warn drivers about the height restriction, but they don't always work, creating a dangerous situation on the interstate, compromising the bridge's safety, and forcing the closure.

"It weakens the structure. There are some cross members that are bent and twisted and it weakens the bridge," Jennings said.

VDOT said bridge inspectors determined the bridge remains safe to drive under, but not over, which means Lipscomb and his neighbors will remain on their unintended cul-de-sac.

"It's like a cold, you shake it off and go on about your business," Lipscomb said.

Jennings and VDOT said the county wants to remove the bridge and build a new one, and it's requested millions of dollars in state funding to do so.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board will consider their request, and a public hearing is scheduled for May 1 for anyone who wants to comment.

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