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Applegate bridge closes after truck damages support beam

APPLEGATE — The Applegate River Bridge on Highway 238 will be closed at least until early next week after a truck hauling a bulldozer damaged a support beam Saturday evening.

The bulldozer was sitting on a lowboy when its blade raked the support beam, jeopardizing the bridges structural integrity, said Gary Leaming, a project information coordinator for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

"We have to close the bridge until we can further inspect it," Leaming said. "At first we thought we could allow personal vehicles through, but it isn't safe."

The bridge is not in danger of collapsing, Leaming said.

It remains unclear how the blade hit the beam. Leaming did not know if the truck driver was cited by Oregon State Police.

An engineer from Roseburg was called to the scene Saturday. Bridge officials will return early this week to plan the repairs, Leaming said.

For now, motorists can use North Applegate Road near the bridge. ODOT will post detour signs in the area to direct travelers, Leaming said.