"Several Months" Of Major Delays Expected In Medford After I-93 Crash

Damaged Beam, MassDOT

Damaged beam on Roosevelt Circle overpass on I-93 South in Medford, MA. Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

MEDFORD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Two lanes remained closed on I-93 South in Medford on Tuesday as crews made repairs to the Roosevelt Circle overpass near Exit 24.

The outside beam underneath the bridge was damaged extensively on Monday after it was struck by an over-height truck carrying what police said was a water clarifying tank used in wastewater treatment. The beam was completely peeled back by the force of the truck and bent at a 90-degree angle, shredding the concrete above it.

Expect Delays For Months

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said commuters should expect major delays on I-93 South for "several months." MassDOT Highways Administrator Jonathan Gulliver later told WBZ's Karyn Regal that the repairs could last six to eight months. The delays should also extend to Route 1 South, Route 28, Route 16, and Roosevelt Circle itself.

"The beam will need to be removed to safely allow traffic to be fully restored underneath on I-93 southbound," MassDOT said in an advisory. "The entire beam and a section of bridge deck, approximately 7 feet wide, will need to be demolished between the west abutment and the center pier, located above I-93 southbound lanes of travel."

The department urged the public to try to take public transportation as the bridge is repaired.

State Police said in a statement that the truck had been driven by a 57-year-old man from Alabama, and was carrying a 54-year-old Alabama woman as a passenger when the crash happened. The woman was taken to Mass. General Hospital with "possible minor injuries." The truck is owned by Dove Transportation, LLC, a small shipping company based in Lincoln, Alabama.

Police later said the driver had been ticketed and fined a total of $210 for two offenses: first, the driver's truck was nine inches taller than it was allowed to be, and second, the driver wasn't following the permitted route. They said the driver was originally headed to Everett, but went on I-93 instead of Route 1.

READ MORE: "It Sounded Almost Like A Sonic Boom": Truck Plows Into Medford Overpass

Three travel lanes were shut down on Monday to assess the damage — but one lane has since been reopened.

Officials are advising travelers to expect delays and drive slowly if they are in the area — but to try to avoid the roadway and seek alternate routes if they can.

Demolitions of the bridge will happen in stages to replace the beam and portions of the fencing. Immediate repairs are expected to take all day on Tuesday and possibly carry over into Wednesday, when all three lanes should reopen.

MassDOT said it was considering legal action against Dove Transportation in a statement late Tuesday.

WBZ News Radio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) and Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reported from the scene in Medford.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) has more on the state's next moves:

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Written by Rachel Armany and Chaiel Schaffel

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