Overpass damage worse than initially thought

By Taylor MacPherson
December 8, 2017 - 5:00pm

A semi caused more damage than initially thought when it became wedged under the Riverside Dr. Overpass Wednesday morning, city officials say.

Wes Hicks, the city’s manager of capital projects, said engineers completed an inspection of the damage yesterday, and found a major structural beam was seriously damaged in the incident. The beam was badly bent by the impact and separated from the concrete deck, according to Hicks.

“It’s pretty serious. I think that the engineers still need more time to look at how it’s going to be repaired,” Hicks said. “It’s most likely going to need to be replaced.”

Hicks said one lane overtop of the damaged beam will remain closed to traffic over the weekend, and weight restrictions have been put in place. No loads over 63,500 kg will be allowed to cross the southbound lanes until further notice, he said. In coming days the city’s engineers will be reviewing the weight limit, Hicks said, and are exploring the possibility of adding temporary braces to the overpass.

Preventing further damage and keeping everyone safe is the city’s primary concern, Hicks noted.

“Right now there’s no risk of this bridge collapsing. I don’t want to give anybody the wrong impression,” Hicks said. “The last thing we want is an accident to take place.”

If the beam needs to be replaced, Hicks said it could take up to a month to manufacture and install. The semi driver’s insurance will likely pick up the tab, he added.

“Normally when a vehicle is involved in damaging public property… there would be an insurance claim against that individual’s vehicle,” he said. “The city should not be out any money.”

A Prince Albert Police Service spokesperson told paNOW the investigation is still ongoing, and no tickets or criminal charges have yet been issued.


--With files from Glenn Hicks

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On Twitter: @TMacPhersonNews

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