Monday, February 13, 2012

VDOT Investigating Sign Falling on I-66

The Virginia Department of Transportation is conducting a detailed investigation into what caused a 30-foot tall cantilevered sign structure to collapse onto the eastbound travel lanes of Interstate 66 near Monument Avenue in Fairfax at 2:48 p.m. yesterday.  The structure struck a pick-up truck but did not cause any injuries.

“This is a very serious matter and I want to assure motorists and the public that VDOT will get to the bottom of what caused the collapse so we can prevent this from happening again,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “We will take the appropriate actions needed to assure the safety of our structures.  I will oversee this investigation, including keeping the public informed.”

VDOT inspects its sign structures at least every five years.  The fallen structure was last inspected in December 2007 and ultrasonic testing of the anchor bolts was performed since the 2007 inspection.

Bridge engineers were at the scene of the accident yesterday afternoon to begin the investigation, which will likely take several weeks.

At about the same time the structure fell, a fast-moving snow squall passed through the area. It is unclear whether the storm was a factor in the collapse.

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