Congestion is common on State Road 826, but the expressway became a parking lot Friday night when Florida Highway Patrol was forced to shut down a portion of it in both directions.
The accident happened when a driver tried hauling equipment taller than the 14’2 clearance of the overpass at Northwest 27th Avenue, officials said.
FHP spokesman Joe Sanchez told Local 10’s Christina Vazquez the backhoe in the trailer, which was an entire foot too tall, scraped against the underbelly of the overpass and tore down chunks of concrete just after 4 p.m.
A witness said the driver never once stopped.
“He just kept going,” said Isa, a worker at a nearby Tattoo shop.
Structural engineers for FHP inspected the damage, which Sanchez said was both unique and significant. Slivers of iron peered through the banged up portions of concrete that encase the steel beams supporting the overpass.
Engineers and officials worried the damage would compromise structural integrity and that 826 at Northwest 27th Avenue would be shut down for days.
At 8 p.m., engineers made the determination the overpass was safe and FHP opened traffic in both directions.
Crews will begin repairing the broken sections of concrete to make sure debris does not fall on passing drivers along the northbound lanes of 27th Avenue, officials said.
FHP said that requires closing two of the three lanes, which could pose a problem for drivers in the area come Monday morning.
Vazquez tried to speak with the driver, but he walked away. FHP said he violated a permit by hauling the equipment on that road.
Stay tuned to Local 10 for more details as they emerge.