Truck that hit overpass in Abbotsford also took down Telus lines in Maple Ridge

The semi-trailer truck that struck the underside of the Sumas Way overpass on June 7 also took down some overhead lines in Maple Ridge later that day, the Abbotsford News has learned.

A semi-trailer unit that hit the Sumas Way overpass later dragged down phone lines in Maple Ridge.

A semi-trailer unit that hit the Sumas Way overpass later dragged down phone lines in Maple Ridge.

The semi-trailer truck that struck the underside of the Sumas Way overpass on June 7 also took down some overhead lines in Maple Ridge later that day, the Abbotsford News has learned.

The semi, which was carrying a large tank, took down Telus wires hanging over some CP rail tracks on 230 Street in west Maple Ridge at about 2:45 p.m. Vehicular and train traffic were both stopped while the lines were cleared.

Police, Telus workers and firefighters attended the scene.

Telus spokesperson Shawn Hall said the owner of the semi, Ludeman Trucking Ltd. in Surrey, did not have prior approval from Telus to travel under the lines, which he said is required with any load over the legal limit of 4.1 metres. The load in question was 4.8 metres high.

He said Telus lines are typically maintained at a height of five metres, but arrangements will be made to move them when required.

“Obviously, if we don’t know the move is happening, there’s not much we can do.”

Louise Yako, president of the B.C. Trucking Association, said a permit must be issued by the Ministry of Transportation any time a carrier is moving something beyond the legal height, width or weight.

The proposed route must be submitted to the ministry and approved before the cargo can be moved. Additional approval must be obtained by agencies such as BC Hydro or Telus if an over-height load is passing under power or phone lines.

At about 11 a.m. on the day that the truck took down the overhead lines, it hit the underside of the Highway 1 overpass on Sumas Way, resulting in about $300,000 damage. The truck was en route from Surrey to Maple Ridge.

At the time, a spokesman with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said the trucking company had been issued a permit to travel that route, but the document listed the height of the truck as 4.8 metres. The height clearance of the overpass is 4.62 metres.

An investigation will now determine who was at fault in both accidents.

A spokesman with Ludeman Trucking said the company, which specializes in moving over-sized cargo, regularly uses the route that was employed that day without difficulty and had the required permits. He did not want to provide further comment, saying the incidents are under investigation.

Meanwhile, work is expected to begin this week on the overpass repair and should take about four weeks.