A traffic nightmare developed during Tuesday morning's rush hour at Kenilworth Avenue at the District line in Northeast D.C. after a backhoe being pulled by a dump truck hit the Eastern Avenue bridge, scattering huge chunks of concrete on the road.
City officials said at midday Tuesday that there will be delays in the area for at least 48 hours while engineers replace one of the girders on the bridge.
"Both lanes of Kenilworth Avenue are closed there," said D.C. Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Rice. "And they will be for up to 48 hours, maybe longer if the weather turns bad."
Rice said one of the bridge's girders needs replacing following the collision and that the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge will need to be narrowed to accomplish that.
D.C. Fire and Rescue spokesman Alan Etter said "the bucket and arm of a backhoe being pulled by a dump truck" going south on Kenilworth Avenue struck the bridge at about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, spraying eight large chunks of concrete on the road.
There was traffic in the area at the time, he said, but "miraculously, no one was injured."
He said that after the impact a white car ran over a piece of concrete and dragged it about 200 yards before coming to a stop. The car did not suffer any major damage and there was no petroleum spillage from any vehicle, he said.
Rice said "traffic was flowing slowly on the service roads both in the north and south direction" at noon on Tuesday. He said officials expect back-ups on New York Avenue, South Dakota Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue and Minnesota Avenue as motorists try to find alternative routes.
He urged motorists to try and stay out of the area as much as they can for the next two days.