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VDOT investigates why sign fell on I-66

Monday - 2/13/2012, 8:38am  ET

signfalli66_vdot.jpg
The 30-foot sign fell onto the eastbound lanes of I-66 near Monument Drive Saturday afternoon. (Courtesy of VDOT)

FAIRFAX, Va. - Investigators from the Virginia Department of Transportation are trying to determine why a 30-foot sign collapsed onto Interstate 66 Saturday.

The sign fell into the eastbound lanes of I-66 near Monument Drive around 2:45 p.m. The sign struck a pickup truck, but nobody was injured.

VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley said in a written statement that the agency is taking the investigation very seriously.

"This is a very serious matter and I want to assure motorists and the public that VDOT will get to the bottom of what caused the collapse so we can prevent this from happening again," Whirley said.

"We will take the appropriate actions needed to assure the safety of our structures. I will oversee this investigation, including keeping the public informed."

VDOT says it inspects sign structures at least every five years. The sign that fell was last inspected in December 2007.

There were very high winds Saturday afternoon and the sign fell during a fast-moving squall, but it isn't clear if the winds were a factor in the collapse.

VDOT says the investigation will likely take several weeks.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)