DOT inspectors keeping bridge over I-440 closed for now

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- North Carolina Department of Transportation inspectors have decided to keep a bridge over Interstate 440 closed, for now.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh Police Department said a tractor-trailer truck towing an excavator that was about 16-feet tall hit the Melbourne Road overpass on the westbound side of I-440 between Western Blvd and Athens Drive.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. and affected traffic for hours.

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NCDOT officials told ABC11 that they inspected the damage Wednesday morning, and they're going over everything with engineers to determine the repairs needed.

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One lane was blocked

Concrete debris from the bridge fell onto the Beltline, prompting authorities to ask the NCDOT to examine the overpass.

Bridge inspectors then checked the damage and decided to close it to traffic. It's unclear when it'll reopen.

"I found out the bridge was built in 1959 and was already scheduled to be replaced," resident Mike McIntire said.

NCDOT says the Melbourne Road bridge is part of the improvement project to widen the Raleigh Beltline, which includes updating bridges and pavement.

McIntire said he walks his dog on the bridge and drives on it.

"We use the bridge, but there are other ways to get around it," he said. "There's Athens bridge which is the next one up, and there's Western Blvd which is one back. And they're within a quarter, half mile of each other, so it's not terribly, terribly inconvenient not to have the bridge."

The bridge also connects two neighborhoods.

The NCDOT has said they want to get it repaired as quickly as possible.

For more on the future of the bridge visit the NCDOT's website.

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