Hay-hauling truck causes damage to US Route 67/90 underpass in Alpine

A truck carrying a load of hay damaged a railroad underpass in Alpine last week. It is one of many recent instances, said the Alpine Police Chief. Photo courtesy of Bill Elliot.

ALPINE — A truck hauling a load of hay heading East into Alpine Friday evening struck a railroad track support beam at the U.S. 67/90 overpass, causing it to fall into the road and block traffic.

Traffic was rerouted to SH 118 to Ft. Davis until the situation was cleared up by noon Saturday, according to Alpine Police Chief Darell Losoya. 

The truck was about a foot higher than the 13.7-foot clearance under the overpass, said Losoya, causing the hay to make contact with the eastern support beam, lifting and yanking it clean off. 

Despite losing one of its two support beams, the overpass held the weight of the train that was on the tracks when the incident occurred. 

Union Pacific contractors from Houston and San Antonio arrived on the scene later Friday night in order to weld metal plates over the damaged area and reset it back on the pillars. 

Losya said despite the clearance height being clearly marked and outfitted with flashing lights, there have been monthly incidents of collisions at the overpass. Damage is typically minimal, he said, but those driving trucks that do not obey the height requirements may be civilly or criminally charged if they flee the scene and may be subject to Union Pacific lawsuits for damages.