Investigators are still trying to determine what caused part of an Interstate 75 bridge to collapse near Chattanooga, Tennessee, injuring one driver on the exit ramp below.
As of Tuesday morning, Interstate 75 northbound to Interstate 24 was reopened, and all but one southbound lanes were still closed, according to a tweet from the Chattanooga Police. One lane of the Interstate 75 southbound ramp is also open.
Detours were in place at Interstate 75’s split from Interstate 24 west, police tweeted.
The collapsed happened just before noon Monday, when a concrete railing on the Interstate 75 southbound ramp fell onto the Interstate 24 westbound ramp below it, said Tennessee DOT officials in a series of tweets.
One driver suffered “non life-threatening injuries” in the collapse, according to a tweet from the Chattanooga Fire Department.
TV station WSBTV reported the motorist, who has not been identified, “couldn’t stop in time (and) crashed into the concrete” that had fallen onto the pavement.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Wednesday that state officials believe the collapse “was likely caused by an illegally oversized load that hit the bridge, cutting through steel cables that supported the concrete railing.”
Large blocks of concrete began falling off the bridge about 11:30 a.m. Monday, reported the newspaper. Photos show the railing folded in the middle as it fell onto the ramp below, blocking both lanes and trapping drivers between a concrete all and guard rails.
Chattanooga’s Mayor Andy Berke called the collapse “frightening” and posted on Facebook that it happened at “one of the most heavily trafficked intersections in the country, where 75 and 24 meet.”
“Truly miraculous that no one was seriously injured,” he posted.
Department of Transportation officials said in a tweet that “permanent repairs will take weeks.”
The bridge, built in the 1950s, had been inspected last year and was rated as good, the Times Free Press reported.