OTTUMWA, IOWA – The pedestrian bridge near Eisenhower Elementary School was severely damaged Saturday when a wind turbine, that was being transported, struck the bridge.
The police report states:
“As unit one went under the walk bridge, the highest point of the wind turbine caught the bridge and did extensive damage to the bridge. At the time of the incident, city engineers shut the walk bridge down because it was unsafe for pedestrian traffic.”
The driver of the semi, Vasko Vasilevski was not injured in the accident, nor was anyone else.
According to police, the semi had a lead vehicle, which somehow made a wrong turn, leading it down Highway 63. Large loads, such as wind turbines, usually stay on a pre-determined path to avoid power lines, lamp posts and in this case low bridges.
City engineers estimate that the bridge suffered $75,000 in damages.
The bridge is mainly used by students that attend Eisenhower Elementary School. Students are able to cross Highway 63 without having to walk to the nearest cross walk. The Ottumwa Community School District has arranged for students to be able to ride the school bus across Highway 63 until the bridge is repaired. For parents that are interested in knowing where those stops are located, contact Southern Iowa Transit at 682-8018. Officials with the school district believe that the bridge will be closed for the remainder of the school year.
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