SCRANTON - PennDOT believes sometime Friday morning an oversized truck knocked into the beams of the Moosic Street Bridge in Scranton so hard that the entire span now has to be replaced!
It is one of the main arteries in and out of downtown Scranton. PennDOT officials say in order to replace part of the bridge it will have to be closed until at least early next year.
The problem is underneath, PennDOT says that truck cracked several beams in the bridge before it took off.
It's a strange case of hit and run. Where the perpetrator is a mystery. The victims are the bottom of the Moosic Street Bridge, along with the 15,000 drivers on top of it every day.
They don't know when and they don't know how, but PennDOT officials say a truck too tall to go under the bridge hit all of its beams but kept going.
"I don't know how he got away with taking off when he took part of the bridge with him!" said Carolyn Catalano from La Trattoria Restaurant.
Businesses near the Moosic Street Bridge, like La Trattoria, started noticing the problem when the customers came in confused.
"We had a couple complaints, they came in for take out and they were like, 'How do i get back on the highway?'" added Catalano.
PennDOT engineers first closed the bridge so they could inspect it. That clogged the areas around the Central Scranton Expressway on the city's south side and downtown.
In the meantime, PennDOT crews tried to figure out how bad the problem is. They say it seems the truck came through from Cedar Avenue and hit each beam taking out huge chunks of concrete.
"By the time it got to the end, it looks like he had some hydraulic fluid or some kind of fluid that went up on to the bridge. But, the truck or whatever it was kept going," said PennDOT spokesperson James May.
Tracking down the truck driver isn't PennDOT's biggest problem.
Engineers say it's not safe to drive over the bridge. One section of Moosic Street needs to be replaced. Meaning the main artery to the city is expected to stay closed until early next year.
And that's a problem for the 15,000 drivers who rely on the Moosic Street Bridge.
"This is going to be chaotic and I guarantee there's going to be a lot of accidents. If they don't put a traffic light there," said Anna Tierney of Scranton
PennDOT officials think it's unlikely the truck crash went unnoticed. They're asking anyone who may have seen anything to call Pennsylvania State Police. That truck driver could face criminal charges.