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Commercial truck overpass crash creates traffic nightmare

No serious injuries but big chunks of concrete taken out of Highway 17A structure
The damage to the overpass is extensive as evident by this photo from Delta Police. Delta Police Photo

Another big truck barrelled into a highway overpass Tuesday, this time on Highway 99, at the Highway 17A crossing creating traffic chaos.

By early Wednesday however, southbound traffic was again flowing on Highway 99 while the southbound lanes of Highway 17A overpass remain closed.

“There were no serious injuries, however the Highway 17A overpass sustained substantial damage,” said Cpl. Mike Moore of the BC Highway Patrol.

The crash took place at about 11:15 a.m. and closed Highway 99 southbound, as well as Highway 17A southbound to Tsawwassen, to allow a structural assessment.

The impact tore off pieces from the underside of the overpass. One huge clump of concrete dangled precariously over the highway, suspended by twisted rebar as crews began their inspection.

The crash is the latest in a constant stream of commercial trucks driving into B.C. overpasses, most of them in the Lower Mainland.

For all of 2022 and up to last June 14, 19 trucks have crashed into B.C. bridges, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure bridge strikes data.

Delta Coun. Dylan Kruger is calling for tougher action.

“These incidents cost taxpayers tens of millions in repairs. Commercial drivers who are found to be at fault should lose their licences and be subject to significant fines. Right now, there is little to no recourse,” Kruger said in a post on Twitter. “It is obvious that new overpasses are needed south of the Fraser on Highway 99, including a second exit out of Ladner.”

BC United leader Kevin Falcon was in Richmond Tuesday and tweeted about the incident. “The aftermath of a truck hitting an overpass in #DeltaBC has caused severe damage and traffic chaos. Too bad we don’t have a 10-lane bridge to help alleviate this massive gridlock,” Falcon said in reference to the cancelled bridge.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or have dashcam video is asked to contact BC Highway Patrol at 604-526-9744.