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Debris damages over a dozen vehicles on busy Calgary roadway
Published Wednesday, February 24, 2016 12:48PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 24, 2016 7:25PM MST
A crumbling bridge may be to blame for causing damage to several vehicles that were travelling on Glenmore Trail on Wednesday morning.
A number of vehicles sustained tire damage from hitting debris in the eastbound lanes of Glenmore Trail, near the Deerfoot off-ramp, just after 5:30 a.m.
“Just before I was able to go off onto the off-ramp for Deerfoot, I hit something. I didn’t see what it was in advance it just happened. You’re doing 80 kilometres, things happen very quickly, in the dark it’s more of a challenge. So I pulled over immediately. I was about the third car to pull over. While I was getting out of the car, just to take a look what happened, at least three to four more cars were hitting whatever it was that was on the road,” said motorist Rick Malyszka.
The bridge runs over an old rail line and the city says it is showing its age.
“This particular bridge has had some issues in the past and we continue to monitor it, It isn’t something that happens frequently, this particular one was built in 1970 and its aging, in fact our plan is to remove this bridge from service in the next year or two ,” said Craig MacFarlane from the City of Calgary.
Malyzska’s vehicle is being assessed at a local repair shop and he says so far mechanics have told him he needs to replace a set of tires and rims and that there is some damage to the plastic parts of the vehicle.
“I was able to take a look at the debris and basically it was a piece of angle iron between three and four feet long that was about six inches per side that had come up and was laying on the road. By the time a few cars hit it, instead of being a nice straight piece, it was now the shape of a horse shoe,” he said.
He says the fire department responded and swept up the scene to see if they could determine what the hazard was and where it came from.
“First they thought it was a piece of debris off a truck. It ended up being a piece that had lifted out of the expansion joint of the bridge and they have acknowledged the fact that it was due to that,” said Malyszka.
He says he has called the claims number that was given to him and has yet to hear back but he would also like an explanation from the city.
“So I’m hoping this is going to be somewhat expedient and it gets resolved and moving forward that steps are put in place to preclude this type of thing from happening again,” he said. “I would like to have the City of Calgary explain exactly why this happened.”
About 14 vehicles were damaged and the roadway was closed while crews cleaned up the mess.
MacFarlane says city crews will go back to the bridge later in the day to take a closer look at the expansion joints and remediate any issues.
The city says there are over 400 bridges in Calgary and that the average age is between 30 and 35 years old.