The driver of the truck that hit the Pedway over Lancaster Avenue will not be cited and no charges have been pressed, according to Kentucky State Police. An officer completed a commercial safety inspection along with an accident report on the scene.
The structure has been shored up with steel supports to ensure engineers can fully assess it safely.
Around noon on Sept. 9, a commercial vehicle from Rock Trucking hit the pedway on Lancaster causing significant damage to both as well as one other vehicle. The bed of the truck was raised and collided with the pedway.
The bottom of the pedway collapsed onto Lancaster sending debris on top of the truck and another vehicle. The other vehicle suffered damage to the rear window.
No students were in the pedway at the time of the incident and no injuries have been reported.
EKU President Benson said the university’s main concern for now is how to maintain the safety of the structure as well as to keep traffic flowing, but was thankful no one was injured in the accident.
“I am just incredibly grateful that nobody was in the pedway when it happened,” Benson said.
It is expected that Lancaster will be impacted for three weeks, however, rebuilding damaged sections of the pedway will take months said Brian Makinen, executive director of public safety and risk management at EKU.
“That’s based off initial assessment and that time frame may change or shift slightly,” Makinen said.
A full assessment of the structure will occur once officials can get in safely to analyze the damage, Makinen said. The truck was not removed from underneath the structure until Sept. 13, four days after the incident.
A fence is erected to keep passerby safe and thru traffic is blocked off. The university has opened Lancaster Avenue to University Drive for traffic traveling to the Lancaster parking lot, as well as for University Drive parking.
The pedway will not be demolished, however, the middle section of the pedway will undergo a major rebuilding effort, and the east and west sections remain intact and structurally okay. Makinen does not believe the university will face any obstacles rebuilding.
“The pedway across Lancaster is going to be even higher and obviously we’ll have details to what the height restrictions are,” Benson said in relation to the pedway being rebuilt.
Benson does not believe this will affect the progress on the other pedway to be built over the Eastern Bypass.
There are no initial projections on cost, as that will be based on further assessments, but this information will be released at a later time, Makinen said. The pedway is insured by EKU, so the damage will be filed as an insurance claim and paid through that.