Dunbar Covered Bridge damaged by semi truck

Friday, August 5, 2011
While it remains open for traffic, Dunbar Covered Bridge sustained $5,000-$10,000 worth of damage in a Thursday morning accident. Schuyler Jackson, Marietta, Ga., drove a semi tractor-trailer through the historic covered bridge, damaging both ends.

GPS-dependent drivers, beware. That little monitor on the console may lead you astray.

A Thursday morning GPS mishap led a Georgia semi driver onto hilly Putnam County roads and left a local landmark with between $5,000 and $10,000 in damages.

Although his path through the country was unclear, Schuyler Jackson, Marietta, Ga., approached Dunbar Covered Bridge from the north on County Road 175 West. His 2008 Balboa tractor-trailer clipped the north end of the bridge, but did the most major damage as he made it through to the southern end.

Lt. Danny Wallace of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department said the problem was worse at the southern end because of the road's steep dropoff as it rounds the corner into County Road 25 South.

As the tractor and front of the trailer followed the road grade downward, the rear end raised up, taking out a number of the boards over the southern entrance.

Jackson continued to Walmart Distribution, his local destination. From there, he notified authorities of the incident.

The 131-year-old bridge looks to have escaped with only cosmetic -- not structural -- damage.

"It just ruins the appearance," County Highway co-supervisor Jim Smith said.

Jackson was driving for Minneapolis-based Stan Koch and Sons Trucking Inc. Smith said Koch's insurance company has already made contact with the highway department. They are getting three estimates for the work.

"That's a historic covered bridge," Smith said. "That insurance company would have had to come up with several hundred thousand dollars had it done major structural damage."

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  • I hope the driver was cited for this! There are weight restrictions posted, are there not?

    -- Posted by Geologist on Fri, Aug 5, 2011, at 4:21 AM
  • Dunbar has posted weight limit of 7 tons,VFF-Highway looking at possibility of signs declaring height of bridge at 300 West intersection and 25 North intersection,however,they can only guide,cannot enforce....

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Fri, Aug 5, 2011, at 6:26 AM
  • Maybe this is one of the reasons for the grant for a new bridge bypassing Dunbar, the one everybody was in such an uproar about a few weeks ago?

    -- Posted by Clovertucky on Fri, Aug 5, 2011, at 9:22 AM
  • Mac1055,Highway and Sheriff's Dept. were both at Huffman bridge when that happened,structure of bridge checked out ok by bridge inspection firm.

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Fri, Aug 5, 2011, at 11:42 AM
  • No way should there have been a semi going through a covered bridge. Probably there will be nothing done about it though.

    -- Posted by not gullible on Fri, Aug 5, 2011, at 1:01 PM
  • That is crazy he should have known better than to take a semi through a historic covered bridge!!! So glad it was not worse! I love those covered bridges they are a piece of our history!!

    -- Posted by angeleyes169 on Fri, Aug 5, 2011, at 11:24 PM
  • So let's see,if I read this right,the driver disregarded posted wieght limits,damaged a historical site and left the scene of a property damage accident and no mention of any citations being issued.?

    -- Posted by obeone on Sat, Aug 6, 2011, at 3:44 PM
  • ..."that's not a bridge, it's termites holding hands."

    -- Posted by DefiantToo on Tue, Aug 9, 2011, at 3:10 PM
  • This has happened to one of the Parke Co. covered bridges TWICE in a couple of months! Come on drivers you cannot rely on GPS and or Mapquest totally!

    -- Posted by indianamama on Tue, Aug 9, 2011, at 4:10 PM
  • I have seen several businesses that have truck docks and car parking areas that have installed a solution to this problem. For areas that the trucks are not allowed, there is a large, heavy yellow pole installed. The pole goes up about 10 feet from the ground and turns and goes across the roadway. It wouldn't stop a loaded semi, but would certainly damage the truck. Perhaps these poles could be used to protect our bridges.

    -- Posted by Clovertucky on Wed, Aug 10, 2011, at 11:28 AM
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