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Accident at railroad bridge caused traffic stoppage on First Avenue in Riverside

Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 11:27 a.m. CDT

RIVERSIDE – Traffic along First Avenue in Riverside was stopped Tuesday morning after a truck became stuck underneath the railroad bridge between Ogden and Forest avenues, police said.

Law enforcement authorities were notified at 7:36 a.m. Tuesday that a truck traveling northbound on First Avenue wedged itself underneath the bridge over which Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway trains cross, said Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel. Both north- and southbound traffic on First Avenue was diverted while the truck was removed, and train traffic was suspended for about an hour, Weitzel said.

Southbound traffic was opened after the truck was removed, but northbound traffic continued to be diverted until investigators could examine the scene of the accident, Weitzel said. The truck was moved to a portion of Brookfield Zoo for further inspection, he said.

"One of our officers found a piece of concrete from the bridge," Weitzel said. "The top of the bridge was struck, and one of the pillars may have been struck or damaged from the vibrations of the accident."

Weitzel said alcohol was not a factor in the accident, and there were no hazardous materials being transported on the truck. Police are working to determine if the truck had the proper permits to travel along this stretch of First Avenue, given that its load appeared to be too high to pass under the bridge, he said.

Representatives of the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Commerce Commission and BNSF were on the scene, Weitzel said. They determined that the railroad bridge was structurally sound and approved the continuation of train traffic, he said.

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