Inspectors from the Tennessee Department of Transportation are now certain a bridge over Interstate 24 was damaged in an accident Monday night in Rutherford County.
A truck hauling a large backhoe machine was too tall to clear the bridge at Epps Mill Road, and the driver, Keith L. Hieb, 59, of McDonald, TN, was cited for violating the height law, having the wrong tag on a vehicle and lacking proof of insurance.
Hieb was not hurt in the collision.
TDOT said although the beam is damaged, it is not jeopardizing the integrity of the bridge and is safe for traffic.
But as a precaution, the lanes will be narrowed from 12 feet to 10-and-a-half feet, without a shoulder. TDOT said this will allow traffic to pass while keeping traffic off the damaged beam.
Neighbors say this type of thing isn't new. The overpass has seen more than its share of problems in the past.
"The whole cloverleaf needs an overhaul, and that's a very long project. I've seen those before, and that's like a year-and-a-half. I'm not excited about that either," said Murfreesboro resident John Parks.
TDOT has no plans to revise, rebuild or reinvent that exit. Instead, it will just fix the bridge - likely beginning in the summer - and get back to business as usual, which local say was never good.
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