Overturned trailer stymies U.S. Hwy. 87

An accident which occurred early Friday morning on U.S. Hwy. 87, near Brady Wal-Mart, had three lanes of traffic, in addition to one turn lane, shut down for more than 10 hours and a number of local departments stepping up to assist with traffic detail. The call came in around 8:12 a.m. Friday when one of three 18-wheelers, carrying over-size loads with 138,000-pound base units for wind generators, turned over on its side. The cab of the truck remained in its upright position, as a pin, located in the front set of axles (between the truck and trailer) snapped and resulted in the mishap. North and south-bound traffic alternated routes, and at times, vehicles were backed-up to where U.S. Hwy. 190 West intersects Hwy. 87. According to Brady Police Chief Tommy Payne, who oversaw the scene much of the day, several escort crews trafficing the heavy load helped provide traffic control during the early morning hours until the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) could dispatch a crew to the scene. “TxDOT was a huge life support for us since it took so long to get cranes in to lift up the trailer,” said Payne. ‘This is not something that you can move around very easily. If it had come loose from the trailer, it would have come rolling down the highway, crushing just about anything in its way.” A crane, currently on lease with Loadcraft Inc., assisted in the large task arriving on scene around 1 p.m. A second crane, which was brought in from Coleman, arrived at 3:30 p.m. “Once the crane operators got there and got their game plan together, it worked really well. They really did a great job, and they took their time and got it under control,” added Payne. The police department was also assisted by local highway patrol units and sheriff’s department personnel who helped provide traffic control throughout the day. A minimal amount of damage occurred to the highway, and the trailer and its cargo were removed from the scene around 6:25 p.m. that afternoon. It was relocated to a more suitable, level area just up the road, in front of Lubke’s GM Cars & Trucks, until a replacement axel (or jeep) was brought in to get the truck and trailer back on the road. The shipment finally departed Brady around noon Saturday as it was routed through Menard and then Eden en route to its final destination in East Texas. “The only reason they even ended up here was because someone in Austin overlooked the highway construction and issued a permit for the over-size load,” said Payne. “The transport crew had figured out the problem and were working on getting their permit changed to the Menard-Eden route when the accident occurred.”

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