After a driver allegedly wedged an oversized truck under the Riverside Dr. Overpass in December and caused significant damage to a steel structural beam, the city will file an insurance claim against the truck’s company to recouperate repair costs.
Monday night, city council signed off on the move and pre-approved a contract award to a successful bidder to undertake the girder repair, which is estimated to run a tab of $300,000.
According to city administration, the project tender is scheduled to close on Feb. 20 and work is expected to get underway in early March and finish this spring.
Councillors raised concerns about how the city will cope with the lane closures and address the additional traffic expected to detour through Nordale and Hazeldell.
“If they are going to cut though Nordale, we are going to need more then one four-way stop to control the traffic,” Mayor Greg Dionne said.
A proposal for additional traffic control measures in the area is expected to come at a later council meeting. Administrators said if these do not pass, temporary signs could be erected.
On Feb. 6, a Prince Albert Police spokesperson said the driver of the truck is facing two charges.
Benjamin Bergen of Edmonton, Alta., was charged with driving an unregistered vehicle under the Traffic Safety Act because the vehicle not have a Saskatchewan permit. Police said he was also charged with failing to obtain a Saskatchewan permit for an over-dimension load under the Highways and Transportation Act.
The charges are not criminal, the police spokesperson said, but are punishable by fines.
City administers did say an attempt to secure an insurance claim in a previous overpass incident is still tied up in the courts. However, with Bergen facing charges, this is not expected to be the case.
At a Jan. 22 meeting, administrators were asked to examine the costs of installing crash bars on the overpass or digging out the road beneath it to create more clearance.
According to Dionne, the Department of Highways already committed to fund crash bars, but noted he wants to explore all options before moving forward. If it is not feasible to dig out the road, the mayor said the city will approve the crash bars and forward the request to the department.
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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