Backhoe damages SR-163 overpass in Kearny Mesa

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Crews investigate damage to SR-163 overpass after a crane damaged it.

SAN DIEGO — A backhoe struck a freeway overpass in Kearny Mesa, prompting lane closures in the area as authorities inspected the damage, but there were no injuries.

The backhoe was being transported on a truck trailer struck the Clairemont Mesa Boulevard overpass as it was traveling along southbound state Route 163 around 7:15 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans. The impact exposed rebar, broke off pieces of concrete and sent debris into the roadway, the CHP said.

A caller told the CHP debris from the overpass caused a two-vehicle crash shortly afterwards.

A Caltrans bridge inspector was summoned from Orange County, according to the CHP. The far right southbound lane of state Route 163 was closed following the crash along with one westbound lane of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard over the highway.

Long-term lane closure will be needed to repair the overpass after structural engineers assessed the damage, according to Caltrans District 11 Director Laurie Berman.

“Lane closures on both the overcrossing and freeway will be needed to make the necessary repairs,” Berman said. “We are expecting delays on both the freeway and city streets through the area during peak commute hours, so motorists should seek alternate routes for the next few weeks.”

Caltrans engineers indicated that the Clairemont Mesa Boulevard overcrossing sustained damage to a pair of concrete girders on its northwest quadrant. The cost of repairs is undetermined at this time.

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