TOWN OF MENASHA - No cause for concern.
That's the word today from the state office charged with keep Wisconsin roads and bridges safe said today.
They're talking about the Highway 10 overpass on Highway 41 in northern Winnebago County where chunks of concrete fell Tuesday.
State transportation officials say they inspected the bridge Tuesday and claim it is still structurally safe.
Crews did install mesh to the underside of the bridge to catch any other pieces which may fall.
The video above shows one of several cars hit by falling debris off the Highway 10 bridge over Highway 41 Tuesday. A frightening incident for any unsuspecting driver.
"If that would have happened to me, believe me I would be very fearful," said Lucy Eidenberger of New London.
Chunks of concrete shattered the windshield of the car.
"Things happen on the roadway that we can't predict," said Kim Rudat with the Department of Transportation.
Rudat says this is the first time in at least 15 years pieces of concrete have fallen off a state-owned bridge in our area.
"Vibration, time, weather can cause the surface concrete to fall."
Rudat says the bridge is structurally sound. The DOT installed mesh on the section over the northbound lanes of 41 Tuesday after the incident. Wednesday crews were installing the mesh over southbound on-ramp lanes as a precaution. A similar mesh was used for the section over the southbound lanes of 41 last year.
Rudat says the mesh has been used in bridge projects around the state and it's designed to hold small pieces of concrete that may break off, keeping them from falling down onto the roadway below.
But Rudat says the mesh wasn't applied to the northbound lanes, where the concrete fell Tuesday.
"When they looked at the northbound lanes at the time, they didn't see that there were any issues."
Some drivers say it's not something they've ever considered before.
"I don't know what I would do, maybe I'd pull over to the side too, but I'd sure want to know what hit me," said Gordon Kearn of Greenville.
"Did you ever think something like that might happen? No, you wouldn't, you wouldn't be expecting it, you would just be scared," said Eidenberger.
But that's a worry Rudat says drivers don't have to think about.
"Go out on the freeway and drive and don't expect concrete to be falling down on your car."
The bridge is scheduled to be replaced as part of a reconstruction project at the interchange in 2016. Rudat says the mesh will stay in place until the bridge is replaced.
The Department of Transportation says drivers whose vehicles were damaged by the debris can call the Northeast Region office to file a claim. That number is (920) 492-5623.
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