The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) said they have made good progress as they continue to access the damage from Tuesday’s commercial vehicle collision of the Highway 17A overpass.
In an updated email statement on Wednesday afternoon, the Ministry stated its contractor for the area made good progress throughout the night removing loose concrete from the structure and clearing debris from Highway 99.
“As of 6:25 a.m. this morning, all southbound lanes had fully reopened. More work is required on the overpass before the northbound Highway 17A HOV/bus lane can be reopened. The contractor is also working to barrier off the southbound lane and sidewalk on the overpass to ensure safety for users of both highways,” said the statement. “Due to the extent of damage to the overpass, the Highway 17A southbound lane and sidewalk will remain closed while further assessments and design work is completed.”
MOTI said two of the overpass’ five girders were damaged by the collision and will require significant repairs.
“We are developing a repair plan and a completed design is needed before we can provide a timeline or cost estimate. The overpass was built in 1959,” said MOTI. “News of another overpass strike is frustrating for the thousands of motorists impacted. When these overpass strikes occur, they significantly impact all of us — resulting in delays for drivers.
“To that end the ministry is working with the trucking industry on new actions we can take with higher fines, steeper penalties, longer suspensions, and more driver education to stop these collisions from happening. This review of the associated fines and penalties to create a stronger deterrent is well underway and an update on this is expected in the coming months.”
MOTI said the company whose commercial vehicle was involved in yesterday’s collision is under investigation. At this point the company has a satisfactory safety rating.