SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The overpass bridge over Bert Kouns Industrial Loop and I-20 has a posting of a 5-ton limit.

The posting came after inspectors saw damage on the overpass during a routine inspection in January.

That would outlaw the average delivery truck, which weighs an average of 6 tons; a loaded school bus, which averages at 17 tons; an average loaded charter bus, which weighs averages at 20 tons; an average fire truck, which can weigh from 19-to-30 tons; along with garbage trucks (25 tons), Plow Trucks (28 tons) and average loaded tractor-trailers, which average 40 tons. Even ambulances are right on the line, averaging right at 5 tons.*

“Over the last few months, the bridge was struck by some type of vehicle that should not be going under it because it was too tall,” said Erin Buchanan, spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

“The damage to the overpass on LA 526 over I-20, which was to both of the exterior girders, the interior girders as well and those were not damaged but the exterior girders were damaged.”

Buchanan said there were other few components of the structure that were also damaged.

Therefore, DOTD, had a decision to make. Either shut down the overpass bridge or add a posting of a 5-ton limit. They went with the latter, and it’s no secret how this five-month-old change mostly affects commercial trucks.

“That’s one of the lowest postings, you know, that typically are put into place that means anything heavier than a 5-ton vehicle cannot legally cross that overpass,” Buchanan said.

Though some truck drivers may not follow the rules, the ones who do, say it is a big inconvenience.

“I have to detour, I have to get off on the exit before and go through a lot of traffic to get here,” said truck driver Will Reese, who came to Shreveport from Texas.

Buchanan says the driver was “careless” going under the bridge, adding DOTD will start working on the repairs as quickly as possible, which possibly could happen in the next few weeks.

“The goal is to have this done at nighttime and so if we do have to do the interstate closures, it impacts the least number of motorists.”

Buchanan also noted there were no reports from any of the law enforcement agencies that work with crash and incidents, citing that the damage could have happened in late 2021.

She said she understands the inconvenience that the 5-ton limit poses since there weren’t any postings before.

“We try to inconvenience people the least amount. Right now, we got it where many people can still cross, just not those heavy ones,” Buchanan said.

Anyone who knows about the accident is encouraged to call district headquarters at (318)-549-8300.

*Information courtesy Pennsylvania Department of Transportation