BC fixes bridges after string of truck crashes

CHILLIWACK, B.C. — Safety enhancements are underway at two Vedder Canal bridges which have been the sites of several trucker fatalities.

Most recently, a truck driver was killed two weeks ago when his tractor-trailer cut through the guardrail on the Vedder Canal Bridge west of Chilliwack and plunged into the water below.

The incident sparked calls to make safety improvements to the bridge and a nearby span.

Transportation Minister Shirley Bond announced that work on both Hwy 1 bridges will include extending concrete roadside barriers by 150 metres; adding more reflectors to the barriers and to the guardrails "to increase driver awareness"; and adding a second row of rumble strips to the approaches.

As well, concrete barriers with reflectors will be installed along both bridges to reduce the potential of vehicles striking the railings.

B.C. Trucking Association President Paul Landry urged the ministry to look into the matter. He said that a string of crashes on the bridge indicates that something more than driver error could be involved.

The most recent crash was the fourth accident on the bridges in the last five years involving a semi-trailer and the third fatality. 

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