Driver William D.W. Scott

NTSB Issues Oversize Loads Safety Alert

"When transporting oversize loads, planning ahead is critical," NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said. "Both carriers and permitting authorities need to do their part to ensure the safe transport of oversize loads."

Citing two oversize load crashes that led to partial bridge collapses, including the I-5 Skagit River Bridge crash in May 2013,the National Transportation Safety Board on Dec. 9 issued a Safety Alert to remind motor carriers of the importance of obtaining permits and carefully reviewing routes before they transport oversize loads.

In November 2014, the Washington State Patrol cited the driver of a truck that struck the superstructure of the I-5 bridge as the truck, transporting an oversize load, crossed the bridge behind a pilot car. Because of the impact, the center span of the bridge collapsed into the river immediately after the truck had passed; two passenger vehicles plunged into the river as a result.

The new NTSB alert titled "The Impact of Oversize Loads on Our Nation's Bridges" also cites a March 2015 crash in Salado, Texas, involving a truck carrying an oversize load on Interstate 35. The truck struck concrete bridge beams of an overhead highway bridge, causing the beams to fall into the travel lanes of the interstate, resulting in one motorist fatality and three injuries.

"When transporting oversize loads, planning ahead is critical," NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart said. "Both carriers and permitting authorities need to do their part to ensure the safe transport of oversize loads."

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