The Eagle River Bridge in Malakwa was closed to traffic Tuesday morning following a multiple-vehicle incident involving a truck and three semis.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred on Monday, Dec. 9 at approximately 9:41 p.m., reported Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Dave Dubnyk.
Officers responding to a report of a multi-vehicle accident on the bridge, about 15 kilometres east of Sicamous along the Trans-Canada Highway, learned a Ford Bronco had lost control, rolled and come to rest in the middle of the highway. The driver was able to exit the vehicle unharmed. Three tractor-trailer units then drove into the accident scene and became part of it .
One of the semis wound up blocking traffic, while another became engulfed in flames. Firefighters from the Malakwa Volunteer Fire Department, with aid from Sicamous, were able to prevent the blaze from reaching the other vehicles.
Columbia Shuswap Regional District fire services co-ordinator Kenn Mount said the fire was hot enough to cause damage to the bridge.
Dubnyk said representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure were at the scene Tuesday to assess the bridge’s structural integrity, and that the cause of the incident remains under investigation. The bridge was expected re-open to single lane, alternating traffic between 10 and 11 a.m.
At the beginning of the year, the ministry revealed plans to replace the Eagle River Bridge as part of the B.C. government’s commitment to four-lane the Trans-Canada. Work is expected to begin in the spring of 2014. It was noted during an open house hosted by the ministry staff that 30 collisions occurred on the bridge between 2002 and 2011. Two of those involved fatalities, 12 resulted in injury and 16 in property damage only.