Runaway Excavator Crashes Into Overpass

Thu March 02, 2006 - Midwest Edition

HAYS, KS (AP) Eastbound traffic on Interstate 70 near Hays will have to endure a 9-mi. detour, after a piece of construction equipment damaged a 45-ft. section of an overpass on Feb. 13.

Officials of the Kansas Department of Transportation expect an emergency repair of the bridge to be done by March 1. The detour takes motorists along U.S. 183.

Hall Street, which crosses I-70 by way of the 40-year-old bridge, was scheduled to be widened within the next 10 years. Now, the city and state discussing moving up the bridge replacement.

“Things are changing by the hour,” Assistant Director of Public Works John Braun said. “The jury is still out” on how the bridge will be repaired.

The bridge was damaged when a tracked backhoe excavator being transported on a flatbed trailer struck the overpass. No one was injured.