18-Wheeler tears fencing on O’Neal Bridge, shuts down traffic

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT ) – The driver of an 18-wheeler did not follow the warning signs Wednesday posted about taking alternate routes while O’Neal Bridge is under renovations.

Project supervisor Don Allen with Seminole Equipment Inc. said the signs are there for a reason. The work the crews are doing cuts down the height restriction of the bridge, and heavy rainfall makes the tarps sag even more.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 6.33.01 PMThat was the case Wednesday, when around 5:00 p.m. a tractor-trailer ripped eight feet of fencing off of the bridge.

“The tractor-trailors hit the canopy and pull it down and when you do that, we have to shut down traffic to get that repaired,” shredded Officer Jeremy Keeton with the Florence Police Department traffic division. “So, that takes time, and that’s why we’re encouraging people, especially 18-wheelers, to pay attention to the signs that are marked all over town.”

State Troopers generally are on site before the bridge to turn trucks to the Singing River Bridge detour. Allen said they are starting to write tickets to 18-wheeler drivers now who try to cross the bridge.

“It’s not forever, but trucks have to stay off this bridge so we can do out work,” Allen said.

The project is expected to last up to  two years.