Doug Wilson

Doug Wilson

UPDATE: Driver had permit to use underpass

An accident in which a truck hit the underside of the Sumas Way overpass on Tuesday morning can be blamed on two issues, according to a representative with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.



An accident in which a truck hit the underside of the Sumas Way overpass on Tuesday morning can be blamed on two issues, according to a representative with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Doug Wilson, area manager of bridges, said the truck had been authorized to travel the route from Surrey to Maple Ridge and use the underpass, but the permit listed its height as 4.8 metres.

He said the trucker then missed the signs on the south side of the underpass, indicating a height clearance of 4.62 metres.

“The permit should never have been issued, but the truck driver should have noticed the signs,” Wilson said.

The truck, owned by Ludeman Trucking Ltd. of Surrey, was headed for Maple Ridge at the time of the accident. The vehicle was travelling north on Sumas Way, and the tank that it was transporting hit the north side of the overpass as the semi was emerging from beneath the structure.

It is now being determined whether the trucking company’s insurance will cover the estimated $200,000 to $300,000 repair costs or whether the ministry will foot the bill.

A spokesman for Ludeman Trucking said the company is waiting to hear the outcome, but stands by a solid 40-year reputation.

“We handle over-sized cargo regularly. I can’t remember the last time we’ve had an incident,” he said. “There are rules to be followed, and we followed them.”

Wilson said a temporary post is holding the structure’s damaged girder in place. Drivers can expect lane closures when more extensive repair work begins in another couple of weeks. It is expected to take two or three months to complete, he said.