It's unclear at this point when — or even whether — Reno County will replace the 91-foot timber bridge.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A five-span bridge in the northeast corner of Reno County collapsed late Tuesday when a tractor pulling a full grain cart attempted to cross it.
It’s unclear at this point when — or even whether — the county will replace the 91-foot timber bridge on 108th Avenue between Worthington and Woodberry roads, said Reno County Road and Bridge Superintendent Don Brittain.
That’s because the bridge, a quarter mile west of Woodberry, is on the county line, and the cost of its replacement would be shared jointly with McPherson County.
The Reno County Sheriff’s Office reported Jason Regier, 48, of Buhler, was driving a 2015 John Deere tractor pulling the loaded grain cart over the bridge when it collapsed about 9 p.m.
The cart fell into Blaze Fork Creek, a tributary of the Little Arkansas River, spilling its load, while the tractor became stuck at the top on the collapsed edge.
Regier was not injured. The bridge is about 15 feet above the water, Brittain said.
“Two spans are completely gone,” Brittain said. “It was destroyed. It’s really fortunate no one is hurt. It’s a high bridge.”
“It looked to me like 1,000 bushels, pulled by a tractor over the bridge,” he said. “The weight going over was not even close to being within the weight limit to cross that bridge.”
The bridge has its weight limit posted, Brittain said, making the farmer potentially liable for damages.
Because the bridge is on the county line, Reno County was responsible for its maintenance, but Reno and McPherson counties will split any replacement cost.
“People need to follow weight limits, but they don’t pay attention,” Brittain said.
“It doesn’t happen very often that it’s destroyed like this,” he said, but he recalls at least two similar incidents in recent years, one involving an oil truck near Sylvia about three years ago and another when a cement truck fell through a crossing.
“That road will be closed for a while,” he said.
From The Hutchinson (Kan.) News.