Accident Damages Bridge Structure, Closes Northbound 215

Workers begin to clear away portions of the falsework on the Perris Bridge project, which was d...

Workers begin to clear away portions of the falsework on the Perris Bridge project, which was damaged when a semi truck struck support beams Tuesday morning.
Update: CHP has re-routed northbound traffic on a detour that exits the freeway at 4th Street to eastbound Redlands Boulevard to westbound Nuevo Road and back onto the 215.

Traffic on northbound Interstate 215 was backed up for miles Tuesday after an accident involving a semi truck at the Perris/D Street bridge forced closure of all lanes.

Southbound traffic re-opened about 11:30 a.m. but all northbound lanes will be shut down for an undetermined amount of time. According to Office Travis Monks of the CHP, it could take up to 12 hours to clean up the debris and open that side of the freeway.

According to Monks, a semi truck hauling sand or gravel was traveling northbound on the 215 about 10 a.m. when it suddenly veered into the center supports of a wooden "falsework" built as part of a bridge widening project at Perris Boulevard. The truck then veered to the right and went over the outer K-Rail in that narrow stretch of freeway.

No injuries were reported, Monks said. According to Terry Kasinga of Caltrans, there was no damage to the bridge itself. The damaged portion was a catwalk constructed for workers and to facilitate widening of the bridge.

Traffic on the bridge was stopped briefly but was re-opened soon after.

"We don't want to call this a bridge collapse," Kasinga said. "This was a falsework hit. Unfortunately, we had a full closure scheduled tonight for a concrete pour on that portion. Now we'll have to tear down at least part of it and start over."

This is the second such incident at this bridge in the last year. On July 9, 2013, a semi truck hit the bridge, knocking over support beams.

A gravel truck lies on its side near the northbound lanes of Interstate 215.