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Mar 31, 2005

Tall load damages Beaver Dam Bridge

Story PictureIt was a neatly done piece of engineering by the Ministry of Works but today the new Beaver Dam Bridge is suffering at the hands of a careless truck driver. At around eight last night a lowboy carrying a tall and awkwardly arranged excavator snapped a power line across the Western Highway and continued on to hit a sway brace on the bridge that crossed some seventeen feet above the roadway. According to reports, the truck struck the brace and then hit it again when the driver reversed to get off the bridge. When he lowered the boom of the excavator, it snapped some hydraulic lines and the unusually long extension fell off the truck, damaging the pavement and completely blocking traffic. The truck is owned by contractor Ron Sutherland and was en route to Belmopan to work on the new U.S. Embassy. Traditionally wide and tall loads could only travel during daylight hours and then, only with a permit. That practice has apparently fallen into disuse but this latest incident will no doubt prompt calls for a revival of the practice. Preliminary estimates of damage to the bridge and road run in the vicinity of twenty thousand dollars and will be billed to the contractor. According to the Ministry of Works the bridge remains safe as the sway braces only come into play during an earthquake or hurricane.

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