Crane Accidents

Crane Truck Damages Gulick Overpass, Closes Part of H-1 Freeway

10/16/09

Hawaii 

A large crane trucks hits the Gulick overpass, causing police to shutdown lanes on the H-1 Freeway.

It happened shortly before 11 a.m.

A large crane truck slammed into the Gulick overpass, taking a large chunk of concrete out, and creating a safety hazard below.

Kawehi Kekauoha and his crew had their work along the H-1 Freeway interrupted this morning.

“So it was a loud boom, and then all of a sudden we seen a cloud of smoke rise above, and we knew at that time something had hit the bridge,” he said.

Showering concrete chunks onto the road below.

Kekauoha and his crew helped clear the debris, but two eastbound lanes remained closed for a few hours.

“Just do some double checking. We have crews out here. There is come concrete that’s still up, hanging in the rebar that we have to remove. So our crews are coming out here to remove that,” said Transportation Director, Brennon Morioka.

The work didn’t take long, but in the few hours traffic in the east bound direction along the H-1 Freeway did back up for miles.

“You know I’m shocked because this is the third time I know since I work here that the bridge got hit with high trucks,” said Afio Pula who works nearby.

Previous strikes to the overpass have led to fines for companies.

The truck that caused today’s damage belonged to Jenson’s Precasting.

“It did not have a permit, but according to our initial reports this type of truck may not have required a permit as long as the crane boom was totally retracted and lowered, obviously it was not,” said Morioka.  “Any damage we have to fix we will bill that company for hitting the overpass because the public should not have to pay for the mistake of others.”

The company did not have comment.

As for keeping the bridge from being hit again, not an easy fix.

“The only alternative is raising the bridge, the height of the bridge, but that would cost tens of millions of dollars,” said Morioka.

There were no injuries and after a few hours all lanes were reopened to traffic.

Category: Accident Report

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