Tractor-trailer truck slams into Merritt Parkway bridge
NORWALK - The driver of a commercial truck will be getting a ticket after his vehicle slammed into a bridge over the Merritt Parkway Tuesday morning.
The truck, carrying furniture, was traveling northbound when it struck the West Rocks Road bridge near Exit 40.
“Luckily nobody was hurt when this truck struck the bridge overpass. Commercial vehicles are prohibited from driving on the Merritt Parkway/Route 15,” troopers said.
State Police had to close the parkway between Exits 40B and 41 so the truck could be removed.
The top of the storage unit was torn apart.
About a dozen times a year, a truck strikes a bridge along one of the state’s parkways because it exceeds the clearance height, said Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
Vehicles taller than eight feet, longer than 24 feet or wider that seven feet and six inches are not allowed on the parkway, and neither are any cars or trucks with logos, branding or advertising on them.
But that doesn’t stop such vehicles from entering the heavily-traveled Merritt every single day.
Connecticut State Trooper Sgt. Robert Derry said state police get calls about illegal cars on the road every day, and they hand out tickets to over-sized vehicles on a daily basis. “This is a chronic problem,” he said.
In the last General Assembly session, there was a bill to increase fines for drivers of trucks and buses who drive onto the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways from $100 to $500.
The bill was overwhelmingly approved in the House of Representatives in April, but died in the Senate.
The West Rocks Road bridge was struck by trucks in November and December last year.
The West Rocks Road Bridge over the Merritt Parkway Bridge was built in 1938 and rehabilitated in 1986.
The bridge had a $4.1 million overall last year to rehabilitate the superstructure to meet current standards by replacing the deck, bridge parapets and girders while retaining the historic character of the existing bridge.
Previous reporting by Ignacio Laguarda was used in this story.