The Mount Vernon Highway bridge is permanently closed while crews build a new one.
ATLANTA — An inspection done after last week’s collision that permanently closed the Mount Vernon Highway bridge over I-285 shows the truck that struck the bridge was nearly four feet over the legal height and 40,000 pounds overweight.
The inspection followed the crash that closed I-285 in Sandy Springs for a short period. The truck involved was carrying an excavator that struck the bridge as it passed beneath, damaging it beyond repair.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety provided 11Alive with the inspection report that lists several issues with the truck including issues with the height and weight.
Meanwhile, it’s the people who live and drive in the area who are paying the biggest price.
“Is it going to deter people and affect businesses?” said neighbor Jennifer Sander. “A friend said she didn’t go meet someone for dinner because she didn’t want to deal with it.”
Contractors are working to build a new Mount Vernon bridge but won’t finish until sometime next year. Drivers that used to travel the bridge over I-285 are now jammed onto other area streets.
The Georgia State Patrol has issued citations to the driver of the truck that struck the bridge last week while traveling beneath it on I-285.
According to the inspection report, the truck and its load reached a height of 17 feet 3 inches, well above the legal limit of 13 feet 6 inches. The Georgia Department of Transportation couldn’t provide us with the exact height of the bridge but did say all bridges on that section of I-285 are at least 16 feet 5 inches, which is nearly 3 feet above the minimum requirement.
The inspection report goes on to say that the truck weighed more than 120,000 pounds, which is 40,000 pounds over the legal limit.
The fine for that, according to the state patrol, is 5 cents for each pound over the limit. In this case, the fine would be about $2,000.
It will be up to local authorities to determine a fine for the height violation. In Fulton County, a traffic citation fine schedule shows the fine for an overlength or over-width vehicle is $265, although a judge can raise or lower that amount.
The truck was operated by B2 Contracting, according to the report. United States Department of Transportation records show no prior crashes or violations from that company. It employs two drivers and owns two vehicles, according to USDOT.
11Alive has reached out to B2 Contracting on Tuesday and is awaiting a response.