Highway 403 overpass damaged after transport truck hits girder

The repair work will be completed over the summer

The Ministry of Transportation says one girder was damaged after a forklift being transported on a transport truck hit the North Park Road bridge over the eastbound lanes of Highway 403 on Wednesday afternoon.

Simi Ikotun, issues management co-ordinator with the ministry, said Thursday that the load being transported was higher than permitted.

Ikotun said ministry staff are now assessing the repair details and timing for the work.

All eastbound lanes of the 403 and one southbound lane on North Park Street were temporarily closed to traffic after the vehicle hit the bridge just before 3 p.m.

“Highway 403 eastbound lanes and traffic lanes on North Park Street reopened at approximately 7:30 p.m. following an inspection that confirmed the highway could safely be re-opened,” said Ikotun.

This is the fourth time a Brantford bridge over the 403 has been hit in the last six months.

The Wayne Gretzky Parkway overpass was hit last December and again in January by oversized loads, causing damage that led to the closing of the median northbound lane pending repairs. The overpass was hit again on May 9, causing a large concrete slab to fall from the bridge onto the highway.

Ikotun said MTO engineers and maintenance staff have completed an inspection of the Gretzky parkway bridge and repairs are currently being tendered.

“The repair work will be completed over the summer,” he said.

Ikotun said bridges are hit periodically by overheight loads. The legal vertical height permitted for trucks in Ontario is 4.15 metres, as per the Highway Traffic Act.

“Drivers with vehicles and loads that are over 4.15 metres in height are required to get a permit from the ministry and, as part of this process, the driver will be directed to an alternate route with higher clearance,” said Ikotun.