MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - State officials say 1 of every 6 semi-trucks violated weight limits imposed last summer on a major Milwaukee freeway bridge that closed before it collapsed. The DOT had electronic sensors on the Highway 45 bridge at the Milwaukee Zoo Interchange for 5 weeks ending March 21st – 5 days before the bridge suddenly closed after new cracks were found. And bridge expert Beth Cannestra said 1,500 trucks a week exceeded a 60,000 pound weight limit imposed last August. That was about 16 percent of all trucks using the bridge. And since the limits were imposed, it would equal about 48,000 violations.
The bridge is among the busiest in Wisconsin, with 42,000 vehicles using it each day. A state report last spring said the bridges at the Zoo Interchange would need to be replaced between next year and 2015. But with the weight limits, officials were hoping to get a few more years out of them. The State Patrol issued over 200 citations for excessive weights on the 45 bridge, and a Waukesha County unit did some enforcement as well. But Tom Howells of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association said authorities should have cracked down a lot more. He said the word would have gotten out about tough enforcement – and his group doesn’t have much sympathy for drivers who choose not to comply.