COCOA, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - Northbound traffic on Interstate 95 in Brevard County, Florida come to a halt just after 8:30 a.m. on Friday. Cars stood still as traffic was backed up for miles.
Lt. Channing Taylor, with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), said a piece of construction equipment being towed on a flatbed truck slammed into the bottom of the State Road 528 overpass, damaging the bridge.
"A boom on a piece of equipment was extended high. He was traveling at highway speed and there’s serious damage to the bridge. This is what they call a two-fer. He hit it there, the equipment bounced down and he hit another beam on the westbound side underneath there," Lt. Taylor explained.
The first hit caused the brunt of the damage, leaving rebar and steel exposed sending chunks of concrete flying.
"We did have some vehicles damaged during the actual collision. We had a punctured gas tank on one vehicle, some tires on some others," Lt. Taylor said.
Engineers with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) assessed the situation telling troopers the good news is that the bridge is still structurally sound.
"The bridge isn’t going to collapse. It doesn’t work that way. Its one of many beams to hold the bridge up. They’re built that way. It takes a lot to take a bridge down," said Lt. Taylor.
Before opening the road back up, crews spent the afternoon pulling down loose chunks of concrete from the bottom of the overpass. Then they attached special netting to the bottom of the overpass to catch any other debris to prevent it from falling on cars.
FDOT says it's too soon to say when they will make a permanent fix to the overpass. FHP cited the driver of the truck for having an improper load. The roadway was reopened around 9 p.m. Friday.