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Tamm Ave. bridge safe despite damage

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Designers with the Missouri Department of Transportation are evaluating how to repair damage to the girders on the Tamm Avenue bridge over Interstate 64.

The overpass is safe to drive both across and under according to MoDOT area engineer Deanna Venkur. A truck traveling westbound did not clear the overpass; the resulting lane closures caused major traffic jams.

"What we know is that a vehicle went under our bridge that's 16'1"," Venkur said, "So that tells me that the truck was taller than 16'1" and the requirement is 14.5. If it's over 14.5 you have to have a permit."

Trucks of that height, Venkur said, are required to take Interstate 270, which has higher overpasses.

Venkur said that the department will work with the driver's insurance company to determine financial responsibility for the repairs. The department is not quite sure how repairs will work, but will not require demolition of the structure.

"Right now, it's back in our designer's hands at this point," Venkur said, "They're going to evaluate and assess the damage that came back from our bridge inspectors today, and they're going to have to go back and discuss and come up with a solution," she said.