CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Woodlawn Road is open again Sunday night, after transit crews spent hours trying to re-hang a cable conduit that broke loose from the light rail overpass and rained metal brackets down on the road.
NewsChannel 36 counted at least 17 metal brackets missing from the overpass above the low-hanging conduit. Several other brackets were broken loose. Each bracket was as big as a man’s hand, and weighed several pounds.
Police said the wire conduit dropped down off the light rail bridge around 2 p.m., narrowing westbound traffic on Woodlawn Road to one lane under the Lynx overpass. Police later closed both westbound lanes while repair crews worked to reset the wires.
The conduit is about four to six inches across, and was hanging about 12 feet above the pavement under the bridge. The conduit contained communication wires, according to one worker.
General Manager of Rail Operations Rocky Paiano said workers will inspect the brackets and try to find out why they broke loose. They will also have to determine if the problem could occur at other spots on the line.
NewsChannel 36 looked at overpass brackets at Tyvola Road and Archdale Drive, but all appeared securely bolted to the concrete track structure.
Passersby commented on the potential danger of falling metal.
“I think it’s a safety hazard,” said Nancy Coughran. “I think a contactor should be looked into to make sure they’re not doing other things like that.”
“They need to come up with some sort of safety mechanism or meshing to go on the top of it to keep the wire or safety issues from happening,” said Danielle Taylor, as she and a friend drove along the detour.
No one was hurt by the falling brackets, but a witness told one worker a bracket hit a car that kept going. The light rail continued running but slowed down on the bridge where the workmen were trying to restore the conduit.