The Goat River bridge deck was littered with lumber and the wreckage of a semi on the evening of Tuesday, April 30th. Although structural damage was initially suspected, the Ministry of Transportation confirmed that closer inspection has cleared that concern. The bridge has been cleared and re-opened for traffic.

By Andrea Arnold

The Goat River bridge, located 39 km west of McBride on Highway 16, has reopened for regular use.” 

Initial concerns regarding structural damage following a single vehicle incident shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday April 30th have been cleared, according to the Ministry of Transportation. 

Donovan Gee, Bridge Area Manager for the Ministry of Transportation Service Area 20 confirmed that there was no structural damage sustained by the bridge.

“It was all cosmetic,” he said. “There is damage to a couple of posts and some of the railing. There are temporary barriers put in place for safety.”

Gee says the pieces needed to rebuild the damaged section of bridge will have to be made to spec so they will take a few months before they are available. 

The damages to the bridge were caused when a semi truck travelling east, carrying a load of lumber lost control and crashed on the bridge. The load of lumber was spilled across the road. 

The truck and trailer slid to a stop also on the bridge creating a complete barricade. 

Once emergency services were on site, the truck driver was seen talking to paramedics. 

Initially, RCMP told travellers that the closure could last up to 12 hours as an inspection of the bridge is needed before it could be reopened.

By early Wednesday morning, one lane traffic was moving through the site directed by a flagging crew and clean up was in process. 

Crews worked quickly to clear the bridge of accident debris and boards. Within a few days, the bridge was reopened for regular traffic flow.

The barriers will remain in place until the repairs can be made.