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Sunday, October 09, 2011
Lisa Copeland, Region Communications Manager, 360-790-1383
MESKILL, Lewis County – A truck-mounted crane tipped over today while crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation and Lewis County were working to remove sections from a 180-foot bridge over the Chehalis River. Three minor injuries were reported in the accident.
“We’re extremely thankful, and fortunate, that no one was seriously hurt,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT region administrator. “The safety of our people is always a top priority during any of our projects. When something like this happens, it really drives it home that while we do everything we can to ensure this safety, things can still go wrong.”
Dayton said WSDOT will investigate what happened and review it thoroughly so the incident can become a learning tool for the entire department.
The WSDOT Safety Office and the Department of Labor and Industries are conducting investigations into the cause of the incident.
When it tipped, the 30-ton crane was lifting a 572-pound section of a portable, pre-fabricated truss bridge in the Meskill-Dryad area that connected Leudinghaus and River roads to State Route 6.
The bridge being removed – also known as the Leudinghaus Bailey Bridge – has been on loan from WSDOT to Lewis County since 2007 when a county bridge was washed out during the December floods.
Crews began dismantling the structure the first week of October for its return to WSDOT.
“Use of temporary bridges like this one is pretty routine at WSDOT,” said Dayton. “They allow us to replace structures while permanent fixes or replacements are made. We’re looking into what exactly caused the crane removing the bridge sections to tip in this instance, and are relieved beyond words that only minor injuries occurred and no one was seriously injured or killed."
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at http://wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/ or by dialing 5-1-1.
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