The incident took place on the afternoon of July 22 in Grand Forks County.
The driver, identified as Michael Dodds, was driving the 2005 Peterbilt truck tractor with a trailer loaded with dry beans near Northwood when he drove over the 56′ long restricted-weight bridge over the Goose River.
“The bridge collapsed, and the trailer became hung up on the west abutment,” the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The bridge, built in 1906 and rated for a 14-ton gross weight restriction, collapsed under the 43 tons that the truck and its load weighed, authorities said.
Dodds apparently ignored a sign stating the restriction and was cited $11,400 for being overloaded.
“The estimated replacement cost of the bridge is between $800,000.00 and $1,000,000.00. The Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the North Dakota Highway Patrol, The Grand Forks County Highway Department, and Interstate Towing. The incident remains under investigation,” the agency added.
Police said the bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to NBC, application documents submitted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 described the bridge, known as the Northwood Bridge and the Goose River Bridge, as historic because it was the oldest documented bridge in Grand Forks County.
The bridge was “a pin-connected Pratt half-hip pony truss, and the Pratt design saw widespread use in North Dakota and across the nation in the early 20th century,” the documents stated.
The bridge was owned and maintained by Grand Forks County at the time the documents were submitted.
Northwood is a city in Grand Forks County with a population of around 900. Grand Forks, about 25 miles away, has a population of about 57,000. It is on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota.
People on Facebook reacted to the news and pictures.
“Ok look at the bridge! If you arent bright enough to do the [sic] I shouldn’t take this over that ‘Math’ you shouldn’t be driving that semi on our public roads in the first place!” wrote one.
“To the owner…it’s a BEAUTIFUL truck and trailer!” added another.
“Unfortunate for everyone involved especially the land owner and the people who use the bridge regularly,” added another.
“Our infrastructure is failing horribly in North Dakota. We have a 6 ton bridge that we HAVE to cross. It’s such a shame,” added another.
“Hope he has good insurance, I see a new bridge in the near future,” said another.
“I see a bridge in Missouri i was afraid to cross with my Toyota. Setting waiting to decide to cross. Here comes a truck loaded with logs and across he comes. It is 50 foot to creek bottom. And i was worried about my little toyota,” wrote another.