PERRIS – The northbound lanes of the I-215 at Nuevo Road, which were closed since 10 a.m. Tuesday morning after an accident involving a northbound big rig towing two trailers struck the bridge causing it to partially collapse, were re-opened at 5:15 a.m. today, July 16, 2014, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The interstate’s southbound lanes, which were only intermittently open throughout the day on Tuesday, did close for a short time again and were re-opened at 3:05 a.m.
The driver of the big rig, a 66 year-old man from Victorville, was not injured, and no other injuries were reported, said Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Jennifer Fuhrman.
Tractor-trailer crash closes northbound I-215 in Perris
A tractor-trailer on Interstate 215 crashed into a overpass in Perris today, causing a bridge to partially collapse and closing all northbound lanes, a county fire department spokeswoman said.
The crash occurred about 10:05 a.m. south of Nuevo Road. No injuries were reported in the accident, which caused the big rig to overturn, Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Jennifer Fuhrman said.
Part of the bridge, which is in a construction zone, fell into northbound lanes, according to the California Highway Patrol.
As of 11:35 am, a Caltrans representative says that the northbound side of Interstate 215 will remain closed for several hours as the crash site is cleared.
The southbound side of I-215 is open as officials on scene have deemed the bridge overpass on that side of the freeway as safe. As for the northbound side, Caltrans estimates the closure, which begins at Ethanac Rd. could last another 12 hours.
It is believed that the big rig slammed into the falsework, or beams, supporting the under-construction bridge, which was actually scheduled to have concrete poured on it as soon as tonight, prior to this crash.
According to Caltrans, there is a 17-foot clearance under the bridge and they say this isn’t the first time this construction site has faced a roadblock. Almost one year ago exactly, on July 9, 2013, a big rig hauling a mobile home crashed into the site, causing a similar closure and ensuing traffic nightmare.
In that incident, one person was hospitalized. No injuries have been reported thus far in today’s crash.