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Work starts on I-94 bridge damaged by over-height semitrailer

Work starts on I-94 bridge damaged by over-height semitrailer

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The underside of an Interstate 94 bridge east of Bismarck was severely damaged by a westbound semitrailer on April 13. Repairs are now underway.

A repair crew has started work on a bridge over Interstate 94 that has been closed since it was struck two weeks ago by an over-height vehicle.

The concrete deck and all three steel girders of the bridge east of Bismarck were damaged, said Larry Gangl, Bismarck district engineer with the state Transportation Department. The bridge is on a county road and crosses the interstate about a mile south of 43rd Avenue Northeast and 2 miles north of Highway 10.

The department closed the bridge April 13 so it could assess the damage and determine if it could be fixed, or if the bridge would have to be replaced.

“All indications are that it is repairable,” Gangl said.

A crew that specializes in steel structures started work on the bridge Tuesday. The repairs will take two or three weeks, Gangl said. The department will bill the carrier, Williston-based Copper Tip Energy, for the estimated repair cost of $150,000.

A 2013 Kenworth hauling a coil tubing unit -- a piece of large equipment used in the oil patch -- from McKenzie to Mandaree struck the bridge after the driver made a wrong turn off 236th Street near McKenzie, according to the Highway Patrol. The load was later measured and found to be higher than the permit requested by Copper Tip Energy. The driver, 25-year-old Sebastian Kneitl, of Sylvan Lake, Alberta, was cited for a permit violation. No injuries were reported.

The bridge is mostly used by local traffic, Gangl said. The Transporation Department has not posted detours.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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