I-30 overpass 'unstable' after fatal crash in East Dallas



Posted on June 11, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 8:46 PM

DALLAS — Crews struggled to clear the scene at the site of a fatal accident where an 18-wheeler struck an overpass, shutting down the westbound lanes of Interstate 30 at Dolphin Road in East Dallas from late Sunday afternoon into the morning commute Monday.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said the driver of the truck was killed in the accident at 4:12 p.m. No other vehicles were involved.

The biggest question now concerns the safety of the Dolphin Road bridge over I-30 after the big rig slammed into one of its pillars, apparently at full speed, just east of Fair Park.

Late Sunday night, TxDOT spokesman Mark Pettit said the crash fractured the easternmost column of the overpass. "That has caused the structure to become unstable," he said. "The semi is basically holding the structure up until we can get emergency crews in there to shore it up."

While several lanes were expected to be cleared for traffic by about 4:30 a.m., crews at the scene were behind schedule, and it wasn't until just before 7 a.m. that the westbound HOV lane re-opened. Texas Department of Transportation planned to phase the opening of all four lanes, with the lane closest to the median opening first and then the two alongside that lane. The far right lane was expected to remain closed for some time.

TxDOT engineers were summoned to inspect the bridge structure for damage caused by the impact. The wreckage was left in place until that analysis was complete.

The Dolphin Road overpass was also closed to traffic in both directions pending repairs.

A hazardous materials team was called to clean up spilled fuel.

There appeared to be no impact on eastbound I-30 traffic at the Dolphin Road interchange.

If you normally take I-30 into downtown, you may want to bail out much earlier for the Monday morning rush hour, possibly circling around on LBJ Freeway, Interstate 20 or Highway 175.

DART also offers transit alternatives on its Blue Line light rail service to Garland and the Green Line to Buckner Boulevard.

Whatever route you take, you'll need to leave a lot earlier in the morning.