NORTH PORT, Fla. - The southbound lanes of I-75 in North Port have reopened after being been closed all morning and afternoon Wednesday due to a dump truck damaging an overpass, according to Florida Highway Patrol. But expect more closures later this week.
At approximately 2:35am Wednesday, FHP says a dump truck was southbound on the interstate with the dump bed "improperly left in the upright position". The dump bed struck the north side of the overpass at Ponce De Leon Boulevard, at mile marker 184.
The dump bed was separated from the truck and fell to the ground. The driver, 56-year-old Bonnie Ramsingh of North Miami, was uninjured in the crash and fled the scene on foot. He was found a short time later by North Port Police and returned to the scene. He has been arrested and charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash, and Driving without Proper Endorsement.
The Florida Department of Transportation sent bridge inspectors to the scene to assess the damage to the overpass.
Wednesday afternoon, workers were able to clear the scene and all southbound lanes were reopened at 4pm.
FHP says those southbound lanes are expected to close again at 7pm Thursday and stay closed overnight into Friday as crews work on repairs. "There are a lot of variables here, so we are looking at the interstate being closed possibly three evenings, depending on how much has to be done," says Trooper Ken Watson with FHP.
During the road closures, all southbound traffic must exit the interstate at the River Road Exit (191) and proceed south to U.S. 41. Once on U.S. 41, traffic may travel east to Sumter Road. Traffic will be allowed to re-enter I-75 at the Sumter Road Exit (182) and resume traveling south.
Northbound lanes remained open throughout the incident.