HOUSTON - A spool being hauled on a tractor-trailer Thursday got wedged under a Houston overpass.
The incident was reported on the inbound side of U.S. Highway 59 at the 610 West Loop.
Video from SKY2 showed traffic getting by in the left two lanes, but the two right lanes appeared to be blocked. The spool was still on the back of the truck.
Authorities briefly closed down the freeway so the tractor-trailer could back out from under the bridge. The scene was cleared a few minutes later.
TXDOT bridge inspectors told KPRC it didn’t cause any damage, but Houston Police said they ticketed the driver who claims he got lost, ended up on U.S. 59 and 610 and thought he could make it.
“We try to set up on places before they hit the bridges and pull them over and inspect them. If they are over 14 feet and they don't have a permit, then we cite them,” said Sgt. R. Ramos with HPD’s Traffic Enforcement Division.
Houston's past with spools
It seems like these types of giant spools cause quite a few problems on Houston roads.
Most recently, a spool was spotted in December sitting in the feeder road of the 610 loop.
A few weeks before that, a pair of spools blocked three lanes on Interstate 10 near Wayside Drive. In that instance, police said a load on an 18-wheeler hit a railroad bridge and knocked the spools off the trailer.
In October, a giant spool was seen rolling down Interstate 10 in the same area.
“We try to reach out to the companies , with the large spools try to reach out them and educate them, make sure their drivers are aware of how high they are and make sure they stay on route,” Ramos said.
The truck driver had a permit, police said. TXDOT said it has sensors at I-10 at Wirt and I-10 at Mercury that send an alert if a truck’s load is too tall.
Police have said they are working to crack down on trucks that are hauling improperly secured loads.
According to TxDOT, a total of 28 bridge hits due to over-height loads were reported in the agency's Houston district in 2018. So far this year, seven such incidents have been reported.
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