DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Traffic on Interstate 30 east of Downtown Dallas is expected to remain snarled for at least a week following a fatal tractor trailer crash Sunday afternoon that badly damaged a bridge support.
Cleanup from the crash continued well into Monday morning.
“We couldn’t pull the tractor trailer out without the possibility of a bridge collapse,” says Mark Pettit, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation. “So we had to take into consideration the safety of everybody involved.”
Inspectors have determined that the bridge is otherwise sound. However, in spite of temporary shoring put in place for extra support, the Dolphin Road bridge will remain closed until permanent repairs are made.
“We don’t want to put any additional load on it,” says Pettit. “The shoring is sufficient to hold it up. The structure could actually stand without the one column; but, we want to be especially safe, that’s our No. 1 priority.”
Other changes involve the East bound HOV lane in the afternoon. Until further notice, the lane will not be available in order to leave three lanes open for West bound traffic.
Pettit says the configuration would seem to have the least impact on traffic flow; but, they will continue to watch the situation and make changes as needed.
The driver has been identified as 54-year-old Juan Garza, from Mission, a border city in South Texas. Family members told authorities that he was on his way home with a load of electronics when he crashed.
Garza was killed instantly. But, officials still don’t know why he lost control of the truck. Meanwhile, commuters and inconvenienced neighbors are facing a challenging week.
“It’s going to be hectic,” says Shannon Ferrell, who has lived in the neighborhood south of Interstate 30 for more than two decades. He says much of the re-routed traffic will detour through their neighborhood. And many homeowners are less than thrilled.
“A lot of the traffic is going to have to back up through this street,” says James Ramirez. “It’s going to be a big inconvenience for me.”
But, friend and fellow neighbor Debra Olivares is taking the extra traffic troubles in stride. “It’ll probably be a lot of traffic. But, it’ll be okay,” says Olivares. “They gotta do what they have to do.”