BOISE -- A Southern Idaho businessman says someone needs to do more to warn drivers about high winds.
Thousands of cars, trucks, and semis travel in the Magic Valley using the Hansen and Perrine Bridges.
Drivers for Gem State Paper and Supply Company go from Twin Falls to Boise, Pocatello and Elko using bridges every day.
The company's president, John Anderson saw the video from Monday of the wind tipping a semi like a toy truck on the Hansen Bridge. He was reminded of a 2004 incident with one of his trucks.
The wind was blowing so badly that it created a lift of our trailer, and it raised it up, and then simple dynamics of the wind just pushing it over on its side, said Anderson.
On its way back from a delivery in Boise, their trailer was empty when it happened. The wreck totaled the trailer, costing the company $13,000. After their 2004 accident, Anderson asked the Idaho Transportation Department to do something.
The answer I got back was 'well we put up a windsock,' he said. Well, a windsock will blow straight out at 20 miles per hour, it blows straight out at 40 (miles per hour), and straight out at 60 (miles per hour), so who knows how fast the wind's blowing?
Anderson is also worried about the safety of his drivers and other people on those bridges.
More needs to be done before there's fatalities, Anderson said. So far, I think, we have lucked out and only had personal property damages.
The day the video was taken of the semi truck on the Hansen Bridge, there were several other semis and trailers blown over. Two on the Perrine Bridge, two on the Hansen Bridge, and one RV about three miles north of the Hansen Bridge.
ITD said they took action that day to warn drivers.
We actually, at ISP's request, stopped truckers and advised them not to go over the bridge, said ITD Spokesman, Reed Hollinshead. However that advice was not taken and trucks chose to take that risk and go over the bridge anyway. We had signs along the interstate, signs at every approach to these bridges saying that there's unsafe conditions. They were ignored.
Still, ITD said, regardless of signs or warnings, it ultimately boils down to the drivers' responsibility.
ITD is working to put up more permanent signage at those bridges.
I believe it'll be like almost like a flashing warning beacon, said Hollinshead. A flashing light that would warn motorists and along with that would be some text that would say what the condition is out there.
Technology issues have held up the project, but ITD says it is on their radar.
This is one of a number of competing interests statewide, and even though there's a lot of interest now, and it was a bit sensational Monday with the high winds, that's a pretty isolated incident, and we need to balance those things and determine what would be the best use of the funding, Hollinshead said.
Anderson said in about ten years, Gem State Paper has had to reroute drivers because of winds four or five times.