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Traffic Accident Damages Bridge – Drivers Asked to Use Caution

BROOKSVILLE – County Officials are asking drivers to use caution when crossing the Powell Road bridge over the Suncoast Parkway, after an overnight traffic accident caused substantial damage to the bridge.

According to reports, a truck collided with the bridge last night, while traveling in the southbound lanes. Until further notice, vehicles weighing more than 7,000 pounds are restricted from crossing the bridge and advised to seek alternate routes.

Officials say a standard SUV weighs less than 6,000 pounds and is okay to cross the bridge.

For more information on the current road restrictions, contact the Department of Public Works at 352-754-4060.

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dAMAGED bRIDGE

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  • Once upon a time, in the magical land of Hernando, there lived a lot of drivers, walkers and 3 Billy Goats – Little Goat, Medium Goat and Big Goat. One day, having run out of food at home, they decided to go to take a run over to nearby pastures where there was plenty of delicious, lush grass and other yummies. However, there was a problem. They had to go over a very rickety, dangerous bridge that could collapse at any moment. Though concerned about possible risk of injury, should the bridge give way under their weight, and as there were no caution signs or flashing lights to indicate otherwise, they believed it to be safe enough for travel – Besides, they were very hungry and in desperate need of nourishment. After butting their heads together they devised a “just in case” plan. It was decided that Little Goat, being the light-weight (i.e. skateboards, mopeds, 10-speed bikes, golf carts and chihuahuas) would make the first crossing. Carefully placing one hoof in front of the other and holding his breath, he began his perilous trip – wondering if he’d ever see his loved ones again. He was almost all the way across when he heard a deafening roar, followed by the bellowing of a Troll under the bridge. The Troll demanded to know who dared to go over his head. (Toll Trolls don’t seem to care about the condition of bridges as much as they do about money). Terrified, Little Goat responded, saying he was checking the safety of the overpass and was on his way to grazing fields along Cortez Blvd. and Commercial Way. SAFETY CHECK??? The Troll did some quick, magical Hernando math and decided not to divulge the TOTAL extent of damage. Apparently, he figured if the goat or any Hernando drivers suffered loss of limb or life, he could explain that through the miracle of social media, cell phones, the Pony Express, carrier pigeons and word-of-mouth, everyone in Hernando and counties near and far knew the bridge was wrecked. If they chose to use it anyway, tough. Who the heck needs flashing caution signs? Stupid goats! With a wink and a wave he said, “Fine. You may safely pass.” Feeling reassured, Little Goat went along his merry way.

    Having witnessed the successful trippity-trop of Little Billy Goat, Medium Billy Goat (i.e. Priuses, Chevy Ramblers, mid-sized compacts, 4- door sedans, convertible topped anything, mini-vans and coon hounds) – decided he’d give it a shot as well. He applied some Bed Head to his goatee and set out. (You never know when you’ll run into some cute little nannies!) He’d made it two-thirds of the way across when his confidence began to waiver. He heard an ominous groaning and creaking under his hoofs. His eyes widened and he snorted in fear as he watched a couple of bridge slats twirl down to the ground below. He screeched to a halt as shrieks and cries increased in volume and frequency. While they were out having a leisurely graze, Bambi’s mom been severely injured when a chunk of underpinning conked her on the head . Tragically, she’d fallen dead at Bambi’s feet. He would be traumatized for life. Shaken, but not stirred, Medium Goat was even more determined to reach the other side. As with Little Goat, the Troll under the bridge wanted to know who dared to go over his head. His manner was more subdued now as an “Oops!” slipped out of his cavernous mouth. While he still didn’t completely regret having kept mum about the bridge, he did hope that Medium Goat would survive without a hair out of place. After all, he wasn’t an OGRE! Again, he called out, “Sure. You, too, may safely cross the bridge.” (wink, wink).

    Anxiously chomping at the bit, Big Billy Goat ( pickups hauling boat /horse trailers, RVs, Walmart truck caravans, rock trucks, herds of motorcyclists and people walking their Great Danes) realized he had to make up for lost time. He knew the most direct route was this increasingly crumbling overpass. His other options were to go miles out of the way and cross one of the previous bridges, or simply stay at home, miserable and angry. Big Billy Goat bristled. The others were probably hogging all the good grass and he’d likely be left with dollar weeds, dandelions, sand spurs and potato vines. He pawed the ground, took a deep breath, and galloped forward at full speed. Behind him the ground had begun to tremble. He heard rumblings, cracking and chunks of posts smashing onto the ground below. The screeching and honkings from those below were chilling. As with Bambi, it would be etched in his mind forever, which, as it turned out, was about 5 minutes. He lost his footing.

    Meanwhile, the Troll had put all such worries from his mind and hauled butt to his upscale bridge span in a neighboring county. The flashing signs that could have been posted on the unsound Hernando thoroughfare had magically appeared in his back yard and were arranged for the BBQ he would be hosting later for his Troll buddies. He could almost taste the roast venison and goat meat already – compliments of wildlife/animal rescue who had removed a dead doe and Boer goat carcass from the accident scene.

    THE END

    ” A happy ending”? Contrary to popular belief, goats and taxpaying citizens are usually intelligent, not easily led critters. While we there are risks anytime one ventures out, having limited knowledge of the extent of impairment of not only the overpass, but also that of some Trolls, when it comes to the green stuff, it’s really the CRITTER’S money. They want their bridges and paths to be kept safe for travel. Now, about those sinkholes….

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 6:15 pm
  • This was a TRAFFIC accident? there was no traffic at the time! The truck was the only vehicle involved…..Its a vehicle crash or accident. just sayin

    Sunday, 7 June 2015, 10:36 pm
  • What the problem? There is “no” bridge over the sun park hwy. As I recall,, it is no longer Powell road at that point………. hmmmmmmmmmm seems like it was renamed after a police officer who was killed a few years ago……. Sooooooooooooooo what the hell is going on here, some kind of joke?

    Sunday, 7 June 2015, 9:06 pm
  • Yes, boschamps, it’s truly sad!

    Sunday, 7 June 2015, 4:06 pm
  • Rita….look where you live…former student council wannabe’s…who lost in high school now running the county….not one has common sense….take a look around…

    Sunday, 7 June 2015, 3:12 pm
  • In what order are comments posted? They are so jumbled they, almost, make less sense than why the warning sign for this bridge is on the east side of the intersection of Powell Road & California Street, instead of the West side where drivers headed TOWARD the bridge would actually see it!!

    Sunday, 7 June 2015, 11:13 am
  • Better pick a better lawyer than Morgan. Unless you want next to nothing in 5 years

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 7:27 pm
  • Hello Morgan and Morgan…I was driving along and then…..

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 5:10 pm
  • I went over the bridge in a 30000 lb bucket truck yesterday afternoon. There were no signs or warnings posted at all. If it is damaged, there should at least be signage there.

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 11:06 am
  • If your worried about it, Don’t use it…
    If the bridge does fail…

    I guess we will cross that bridge when it happens.

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 10:32 am
  • I just drove over that bridge with a heavy pick up truck, hauling an SUV on a trailer. Never saw any caution signs etc. warning of a damaged bridge.
    Is this bridge now safe, or has our county decided not to post anything so they can avoid the headaches from people complaining?

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 9:52 am
  • …oh yeah, CLOSE THE DAMN BRIDGE! I have a bad feeling about this.

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 8:38 am
  • Use caution? Are they toying with us? How the Hell do you use caution when crossing a bridge over a major highway, pray the bridge doesn’t fall??? I say get out there RIGHT NOW and FIX IT!

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 8:35 am
    • Just sayin, my feelings exactly. It appears the county plans on waiting to see what happens, and if something does, then they’ll just say, “well, we did warn the public that vehicles over 7,000 pounds weren’t supposed to use it.” This is negligence and very irresponsible in my opinion. And for Tubbs to say something so stupid like, “if you’re worried about it, don’t use it.” Seriously??? Do you even have a license?

      Saturday, 6 June 2015, 3:28 pm

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