Hwy. 99 partially reopens after truck slams into overpass
Published Tuesday, December 5, 2017 7:40AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 4:55PM PST
Traffic is once again moving north on Highway 99 nearly a full day after a truck hauling a car crusher slammed into an overpass.
The semi-truck crashed into the bridge at 152nd Street in Surrey Monday morning, knocking concrete and other debris into the northbound lanes.
The steel arms of the heavy equipment the semi was hauling were above the height of clearance of the bridge, the province said.
The force was enough to damage three of the bridge's girders, the province said in a statement the next day. Structural engineers were called in to brace the overpass enough that it was safe to reopen a single lane for the morning commute, and crews spent hours moving fallen debris.
Highway dividers were put in place to form a single lane on the left side and the lane opened at around 5:30 a.m.
The right lane remained closed during rush hour due to structural supports set up to brace the bridge. The 152nd Street interchange was also closed as crews conduct further inspections, and is expected to remain closed for a while.
"They're going to make sure there's no further risk of falling debris from the underside before we can open it to traffic again," said Kellen Truant from the Ministry of Transportation.
"They're going to clean up everything underneath there, and once we've got some proper bracing we can go in and do a proper assessment."
Those who use the highway are advised that there could be backups through the area, and to take an alternate route if possible.
The moment of impact was like an earthquake, one witness told CTV News.
"You could feel that. Really almost like an explosion," Uwe Hoffman said.
An estimate of the damage is not yet known, but the province said it would work with ICBC on a claim to recoup the cost. ICBC confirmed on Tuesday it had received a claim for the crash.
The driver appeared distraught while at the scene, and was speaking to police and vehicle inspectors. The company that owns the truck, Chilliwack-based Gord Spencer Transport Limited, said it doesn't know what happened.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim and Sarah MacDonald
Breaking: 1 lane of NB traffic open on HWY 99 under 152nd street overpass. NB right lane closed, and 152 overpass also closed because of crash involving over-height truck yest AM pic.twitter.com/Z2WjmYrgvC— Nafeesa Karim (@nafeesakarim) December 5, 2017
Traffic around 152nd street overpass closure isn't too bad yet. Here's what it looks like at 32nd. Only 1 NB lane open on Hwy99 after over-height truck slammed into overpass yest AM pic.twitter.com/kFnotg4owI— Nafeesa Karim (@nafeesakarim) December 5, 2017
Here's a closer look at the damaged portion of 152 overpass. 1 NB lane on Hwy99 closed b/c of damage above. They've put up temporary bracing for now. pic.twitter.com/gWlODG90au— Nafeesa Karim (@nafeesakarim) December 5, 2017
Update to yesterday's crash on Hwy99: 3 girders damaged on 152nd St. overpass when over-height truck crashed into it. @TranBC says it will work with @icbc to recoup costs of damage. pic.twitter.com/FVFTutJ5ik— Nafeesa Karim (@nafeesakarim) December 5, 2017