Holland roads reopened; repairs could take 1 year

A truck that got stuck on southbound US-31 in Holland after hitting the South Washington Avenue overpass. Courtesy: Holland Department of Public Safety on Twitter. (June 9, 2014)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) – One day after the boom of a container truck damaged an overpass in Holland, the Michigan Department of Transportation said the overpass is safe to drive on, but could take a year to fix.

Northbound and southbound S. Washington Avenue reopened after the truck was pulled from the US-31 overpass Monday night, but one lane of southbound US-31 remained shut down.

That and other lane closures could remain in place for anywhere from several months to a year, MDOT said.

The boom impaled the steel I-beams that hold up the bridge. While it’s safe for people to drive over, it still needs major repairs. The repairs themselves would take about four months.

The problem is a nationwide steel shortage, which is due to backorders across the nation following two large bridge projects, including one in New York and one at the Kentucky-Indiana border.

The shortage could mean it will take much longer to fully reopen the bridge if the beams must be replaced, according to MDOT.

MDOT estimated it will cost $400,000 to replace the beams, but the repair costs could be less expensive.

MDOT also said that the truck driver’s company is expected to be charged for the full cost of either the beam repairs or replacement.

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