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Truck with arm left up hits St. Petersburg’s I-175 overpass, closing Sixth Street S

Sixth Street S from Fourth Avenue S to Fifth Avenue S will be closed for up to three weeks for repairs, state officials say.
Florida Department of Transportation workers inspect damage to the Interstate 175 overpass at Sixth Street S caused by a roll-off dumpster truck that left its hydraulic arm upright, according to St. Petersburg police. The incident sent concrete falling onto Sixth Street S below. [Courtesy St. Petersburg Police Department]
Published Sep. 16
Updated Sep. 16

ST. PETERSBURG — A block of Sixth Street S will be closed for up to three weeks after a roll-off dumpster truck driving with its hydraulic lift left upright struck the underside of the Interstate 175 overpass on Monday morning, police said.

The truck damaged two concrete beams and left chunks of debris strewn about the roadway.

The crash took place at about 9:25 a.m. The truck, marked with a decal for Waste Connections waste management company, was driving with the hydraulic lift left raised when it shouldn’t have been, said St. Petersburg police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez.

That meant the truck no longer fit under the overpass. The lift struck the underside of the interstate and caused about $300,000 in damage, leaving chunks of concrete spilled in the street, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.

The truck remained in the roadway on Monday afternoon, at the scene of the overpass incident. The driver, whose identity was not released by police, was not at the scene.

Waste Connections did not respond to requests for comment from the Tampa Bay Times.

But department of transportation spokeswoman Kristen Carson confirmed the company’s insurance company will be held responsible for paying to fix the damage. “Taxpayers will not pay for this,” she said.

A roll-off dumpster truck tried to drive under the Interstate 175 overpass on Monday with its hydraulic arm left extended, according to St. Petersburg police. The incident sent concrete falling onto Sixth Street S below. [Courtesy St. Petersburg Police Department]
Florida Department of Transportation workers inspect damage to the Interstate 175 overpass at Sixth Street S caused by a roll-off dumpster truck that left its hydraulic arm upright, according to St. Petersburg police. The incident sent concrete falling onto Sixth Street S below. [MEGAN REEVES | Tampa Bay Times]

Crews were still assessing the damage late Monday afternoon. Workers will have to replace the beams that were damaged, officials said, and Sixth Street S between Fourth and Fifth Avenues S will remain closed in both directions until repairs are complete. The left eastbound lane of I-175, however, was reopened after 3 p.m. Monday, the state said.

Workers assessing the overpass damage on Monday declined to comment. A police report of the incident was not available Monday, and Fernandez said investigators could not say if the incident was caused by machinery malfunction or human error.

Florida Department of Transportation workers inspect damage to the Interstate 175 overpass at Sixth Street S caused by a roll-off dumpster truck that left its hydraulic arm upright, according to St. Petersburg police. The incident sent concrete falling onto Sixth Street S below. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]

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