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Tractors Threaten Bridges in IN County

Friday, December 15, 2017

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The bridges of Boone County, it seems, are under siege from an unlikely source: farm equipment.

For the second time in about a year, according to the Boone County, Indiana, sheriff’s office, someone caused the collapse of a county bridge by attempting to cross with an oversized farm implement.

John Deere Implicated

On Dec. 3, Sheriff Michael T. Nielsen issued a media release explaining that 34-year-old Thomas Smith had attempted to cross the Holliday Road Bridge, over Eagle Creek, on the evening of Dec. 2, but did not realize the disc ripper attachment he was towing behind his John Deere tractor was wider than the bridge.

The truss bridge began to buckle under the stress, according to the sheriff’s department, and ultimately the bridge collapsed. Smith escaped uninjured; the department says there is no suspicion of impairment.

Not the First Time

Just a week prior to the Holliday Road mishap, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department had issued a $2,500 reward for information about another truss bridge collapse that’s gone more than a year unsolved.

In November 2016, someone driving a tractor pulling a similar attachment damaged the Creek Road Bridge, near Mechanicsburg. Police still have not identified the driver responsible for the damage; the bridge, built in 1910, has been closed since. Earlier this year, the county issued a contract for an assessment of the damage, to determine whether the bridge can be repaired.

Both bridges date to the early 20th century but were rehabilitated in the past decade.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Government; Health & Safety; NA; North America

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