Officials believe some sort of oversized load struck the bridge over I-35 on the south side of Devine this past Sunday afternoon, March 14. Officials have completely closed the FM 3176 bridge/overpass (which goes from Devine to Bigfoot) due to severe damage making the bridge “structurally unsound”. At least 3 beams were damaged, according to Devine PD.
“It knocked out one beam, so it was hanging down and causing a traffic hazard below,” said Devine PD Lieutenant Andrews. “A driver, who witnessed the accident, came back and told us that he saw it happen. He said it was a red truck carrying large equipment, possibly axles. There were pieces of heavy metal equipment found at the scene in the debris that looked like it might have been knocked off as it hit the bridge.”
“It was obviously an oversized load, but the driver who spoke to us stated that it did not have an escort unit behind it,” Lieutenant Andrews said.
“It severely bent two of the cross beams going east/west, and knocked out one of the cross beams going north/south,” said Devine Fire Chief Greg Atkinson. “We assisted at the scene while TX Dot got underneath there and cut out the damaged beams. I was told it will be at least several days before those beams will be replaced. For now the FM 3176 overpass will be closed.”
The truck that hit the bridge did not stop and report it, so how exactly it happened is still a mystery.