The Maine Turnpike overpass that was damaged Monday by a truck hauling construction equipment will remain open with some restrictions on vehicle width while state engineers look for a more permanent solution.

The bridge over the turnpike at Exit 45 in Portland was struck by a large construction lift that was on a tractor trailer-style flatbed truck. The impact bent part of a steel I-beam supporting the overpass that leads to southbound on and off ramps for the turnpike. The driver was seriously injured and traffic was snarled for hours as six tow trucks worked to free the stuck piece of equipment.

Engineers determined late Monday that the bridge is safe to carry traffic by shifting cars away from the area closest to the damaged beam and toward the center of the roadway on the overpass. This means that for southbound traffic, vehicles wider than 11 feet are banned from the exit, said Erin Courtney, spokeswoman for the Maine Turnpike Authority.

Planning a more permanent repair for the bridge will take a couple of weeks, because the turnpike authority already has begun the bidding process to reconfigure the entire Exit 45 interchange, including replacing the overpass, in a $42 million project. Bidding is slated to begin for the first phase of work this fall, Courtney said.

“There may be some more creative ways of engineering a fix knowing this bridge has pretty much had its useful life,” Courtney said.

The damage occurred when a construction lift being transported by a truck owned by W.D. Matthews of Auburn, an equipment rental company, slammed into the bridge, closing the interstate for about 30 minutes.

Clearance under the bridge is 14 feet, 4 inches, higher than the overall turnpike minimum clearance of 13 feet, 6 inches, the turnpike authority said.

The truck was on the turnpike since Kittery, according to a W.D. Matthews manager, and already had gone under numerous overpasses.

This is the second time the Exit 45 bridge has been struck by construction equipment being towed on the turnpike. In 2016, an excavator being towed in the southbound lanes hit the bridge, causing $400,000 in damage. An early assessment by state engineers drew similarities between the severity of the two incidents.

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