July 27, 2010

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DOT investigates highway girder collapse

PARKSVILLE – The State Department of Transportation in Binghamton is investigating the cause of a collapse of steel girders on the new I-86 highway that is being built in Parksville to replace the current New York Route 17.

A section of steel beams that are to be eventually bolted across a new elevated bridge abutment gave way Saturday evening and a motorist saw it and called 911. Temporary struts that were holding up the heavy metal buckled leaving the beams to tilt toward the ground.

DOT Regional Director Jack Williams told MidHudsonNews.com that the exact cause of the collapse is under investigation.

“The reason this could have happened, the high winds could have caused the girders shift and the load that was on the side that failed could have increased unnaturally adding more weight; the foundation could have settled and led to an unstable condition on the side that failed,” he said.

The location is near the eastbound exit to Fox Mountain Road.

There is no danger to the public as a flag person has been at the site because the Fox Mountain Road exit has been closed.

Once the cause has been determined, the contractor will foot the bill to correct it, said Williams.


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