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Wayward equipment slows traffic

Justine Wettschreck/Daily Globe A 30,000 pound piece of equipment landed on an entrance ramp of I-90 Thursday after the chains holding it on a semi-trailer snapped. The Minnesota State Patrol, Worthington Police Department and Larson Crane Service were called in to assist in putting the heavy item back on the trailer.

WORTHINGTON -- Sometimes a day just goes awry, as semi-truck driver Joe Bridges learned Thursday morning.

Shortly after 10:20 a.m., the Worthington Police Department was informed a piece of equipment had fallen off a truck and the driver needed help.

"He needs help lifting a 30- pound piece of equipment back onto his truck?" an officer questioned dispatch.

"A 30,000-pound piece of equipment," the dispatcher clarified.

While turning off Minnesota 60 onto the I-90 entrance ramp, the chains that held a large press brake onto a semi-trailer had snapped and the large object, approximately 12 feet tall and 14 feet wide, had fallen off the trailer, destroying the item, breaking pieces of asphalt out of the road and dumping gallons of oil from inside the brake.

A Minnesota State Trooper and several police officers studying the situation contacted Larson Crane Service. They also called the state patrol's commercial vehicle enforcement officers.

When the crane operator had attached the crane to the press brake and attempted to pick it up, several small pieces fell back to the ground, but eventually the semi-trailer was backed into position and the equipment reloaded. Throughout the process, westbound traffic on Minnesota 60 was narrowed down to one lane and authorities had to direct and alternate vehicles pulling off I-90 and passing by on the highway.

According to one officer, Bridges will likely be fined for securing the load incorrectly and for damaging the roadway. Authorities indicated the chains used to secure the heavy object were inadequate for the task. Bridges was also charged by Larson Crane for their work.