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US 45 reopens after semi strikes bridges

An inspector looks at damage on the Wisconsin Avenue bridge over U.S. 45 in Wauwatosa on Tuesday. A flatbed truck carrying a construction forklift stuck the bridge while traveling northbound on U.S. 45. (Staff photos by Kevin Harnack)

Northbound lanes of U.S. 45 reopened around 2 p.m. Tuesday after crews repaired damage to two bridges.

The freeway was closed Tuesday morning when a semi truck carrying a construction forklift struck two bridges. The forklift is owed by Ideal Crane Rental Inc., Madison.

Fran McLaughlin of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department said the semi struck the Wisconsin Avenue bridge, causing concrete and other debris to fall and strike several cars. The telescopic forklift struck a pre-cast concrete beam on the bridge.

Emlynn Grisar of the State Traffic Operations Center said the forklift was on the back of a semi, and it struck both the Wisconsin Avenue and the 92nd Street bridges.

McLaughlin said damage reports are being filed on several cars that were struck by the falling debris. No one was injured, she said.

The driver of the semi was cited for operating a vehicle without a securely fastened load and operating a vehicle in excess height without a permit, according to McLaughlin.

— Molly Willms

Emergency personnel inspect a construction forklift that struck the Wisconsin Avenue overpass while traveling northbound on U.S. 45 on Tuesday in Wauwatosa.

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