TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
A semi-trailer sits partially under the railway bridge at Kemnay on Wednesday morning after the driver failed to heed the warnings of the height restriction for the underpass. The eastbound lane of Highway 1A was closed until the semi could be towed away from the bridge.
A $203 ticket has been handed to an Edmonton man — the latest trucker to have a close encounter with the Kemnay bridge.
A semi-trailer sits partially under the railway bridge at Kemnay on Wednesday. The driver received a $203 ticket for disobeying a traffic control device. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Police are at a loss to explain why he didn’t see the bridge until it was too late — he would have passed signs that warned of a low bridge, and lights that would have flashed to warn him that his rig was too tall.
"I have no explanation," Blue Hills RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Zens said, adding he doesn’t understand why truck drivers frequently hit the structure. "I’ve been here now for six years and I can’t count now the number of vehicles that have come into contact with that overpass … I just don’t understand it."
He’s just the latest trucker to either hit the bridge, or come close.
Highway 1A west of Brandon, at Kemnay, dips beneath a bridge that supports the Canadian Pacific Railway track.
Semi-trailers hit the bridge at the underpass about two times per year despite numerous warning signs for drivers who approach from either direction.
At least some of those warning signs include the bridge’s height of 3.7 metres.
On both sides of the bridge, there are sensors that measure the height of approaching semis and trigger flashing warning lights if the rigs are too tall.
There’s also a spot for eastbound drivers to turn around if their semi-trailer is too big. For westbound drivers, there’s a detour.
Both sides of the bridge itself are marked with reflective tape and signs with the bridge height.
Despite that, semis still hit the bridge or come close.
Zens said the latest collision happened around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
An eastbound semi was hauling a pair of tandem trailers when it either stopped just short of the bridge, or made minor contact with it at low speed.
It looks like the driver realized he wasn’t going to make it under the bridge and braked just in time, Zens said.
However, the driver couldn’t reverse the tandem trailers back up the incline that leads to the bridge. Effectively stuck, a tow truck was called to pull it away.
That caused traffic disruption and detours for up to two hours.
The semi was hauling various autoparts.
The 54-year-old driver from Edmonton received a $203 ticket under the Highway Traffic Act for disobeying a traffic control device.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 24, 2013