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All lanes of I-93 south in Medford reopened Thursday afternoon

Three left lanes were closed on Interstate 93 southbound on Thursday as work continued on the Roosevelt Circle overpass that was hit by a truck Monday.
Three left lanes were closed on Interstate 93 southbound on Thursday as work continued on the Roosevelt Circle overpass that was hit by a truck Monday.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

All lanes of Interstate 93 in Medford reopened just in time for the afternoon commute Thursday after work crews made emergency repairs to the Roosevelt Circle overpass that was damaged when it was hit by a truck earlier this week, according to state Department of Transportation officials.

The southbound lanes were reopened by 4:36 p.m., according to Jacquelyn Goddard, a MassDOT spokeswoman.

State highway administrator Jonathan Gulliver said earlier in the day that crews had successfully removed the area of the beam that was struck and the adjoining concrete and rebar.

“We’re going to restore I-93 to full capacity this afternoon,” Gulliver said in a phone interview. “The removal operation went very well. They’re in cleanup mode now.”

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Travel on I-93 southbound had been restricted since Monday afternoon, when the overpass was struck by the over height truck. Crews then had to demolish damaged portions of the bridge to ensure there were no falling hazards.

Gulliver said there will be temporary lane closures on I-93 in the coming weeks as repair work continues, but they shouldn’t impact most drivers because the closures will happen overnight.

Transportation officials also warned drivers to expect delays on Route 1 south, Route 16, Route 28, and Roosevelt Circle for “the next several months” while permanent repairs are made on the bridge.

A long line of traffic on Interstate 93 on Thursday caused by the truck accident earlier in the week.
A long line of traffic on Interstate 93 on Thursday caused by the truck accident earlier in the week.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The bridge was damaged when it was struck by a tractor-trailer at about 3:20 p.m. Monday. The 2013 Peterbilt 367 owned by Dove Transportation of Lincoln, Ala., was hauling a water clarifying tank and the driver, a 57-year-old Alabama man, is facing a $210 fine, according to State Police spokesman David Procopio. A 54-year-old woman, also from Alabama, who was riding in the truck as a passenger was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with “possible minor injuries” following the incident, he said.

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The driver is being fined $210 for violating two civil offenses, including the truck being over the height level it was permitted for and for violating the permit issued by the Department of Transportation, according to the statement from State Police.

The truck, which was heading to Everett, measured 14 feet, 9 inches with its load included — 9 inches taller than was permitted, according Procopio.

The company was also supposed to be traveling a different route, according to MassDOT officials.

“The company was not permitted for the height of the shipment, did not use the required flag cars, and was traveling an unapproved route when it struck the overpass on I-93 southbound. Dove Transportation had secured permits for a smaller load with a different route,” MassDOT officials said in a statement. “MassDOT intends to hold the trucking company legally and financially responsible for damages and will be reviewing the company’s eligibility for obtaining permits in Massachusetts in the future.”

Gulliver did not have an estimate of how much the repairs will cost but said it’s “not cheap.”

Gulliver said MassDOT’s accident recovery unit will be working to make sure that taxpayers aren’t on the hook to pay for the cost of fixing the bridge.

“We’re confident we’re going to recover the funds,” he said.

Globe Correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.