Wide Load U-Turn Creates A Traffic Nightmare

Wednesday, March 28th 2007, 12:37 pm
By: News On 6

A big rig with a really large load blocked traffic on a busy Green Country highway Wednesday. It happened on the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 75 near State Highway 20. News On 6 anchor Craig Day takes a closer look at the rules of the road for oversized loads, he reports making a U-turn sounds easy enough, but it's easier said than done when you're driving a truck with a load of 135,000 pounds.

"In this case here, luckily no one was coming. Everyone was paying attention and nobody hit him," said Terry Shiever with the OHP Size and Weights Division.

This big rig got stuck while making a U-turn on U.S. Highway 75 near Collinsville. It blocked the northbound lanes of Highway 75 and backed up traffic for at least three miles.

"I checked his permit, he was legal in everything,” Shiever said. “I checked out his truck, his truck is in good shape, he passed inspection. The only thing is that he got high centered in the roadway."

The driver, who was heading west, was avoiding an overpass on Highway 20 by exiting onto U.S. Highway 75 and doing the U-turn to head back the other direction to get back on Highway 20 after the overpass. It's not a maneuver highway patrol troopers like to see, but it is common and legal.

"Since he's over height, over width and over length, for him to make the U-turn from the northbound U.S. 75 to southbound 75, you have got to go across four lanes of traffic," said Shiever.

Under Oklahoma guidelines oversized loads can only be hauled during daylight hours. They have to be permitted for specific dates, and are also restricted from driving on some holidays, when traffic flow is heavy. Tulsa County is one of three counties statewide where those trucks are prevented from driving on interstates during heavy drive times.

In Wednesday’s case, the driver followed the rules, but just had a bit of bad fortune. The driver was allowed to resume the journey from Collinsville to Minnesota.