On Dec. 4, a truck hit and damaged the 152 Street overpass on Highway 99 (‘Car-crusher’ impact closes overpass, Dec. 6).
This incident has affected the lives of many people and hurt the economy tremendously.
There should be better precautions for this problem. I am a Grade 10 student of Elgin Park Secondary. I write this to propose a solution.
Since the overpass was closed northbound, traffic has increased extremely on other already-busy roads in the area. The added traffic is wasting time and many citizens are having to change their daily commute. Also, not many drive by the South Point businesses close to the overpass, and shop owners have reported a significant drop in their sales (Overpass impact ‘killing’ local business, Dec. 15).
The Ministry of Transportation announced that an update on the overpass would not be given until early January. Fixing the overpass will cost a large sum of money along with the expense of the wasted time of the commuters. All in all, this event has cost millions of dollars in damage to our economy.
The driver of the truck that hit the overpass has fault to a certain extent; however, this can happen to anyone. One mistake can lead to a series of events. We should not fine the driver, since it is the ministry’s responsibility to prevent human errors that can cascade dramatically.
A height-restriction sign has already proved to not be sufficient on several occasions. This is not the first time overpasses have been damaged. It has happened several times in Metro Vancouver.
It is obvious we need a better answer.
My proposed solution is to install a prevention shield to screen the heights of vehicles before the overpass. This prevention shield will be the same height as the overpass. If a vehicle is too tall, it will safely hit the shield, about 100 metres before the overpass, indicating it to stop.
The prevention shield should be used for all vulnerable overpasses. It will prevent incidents like this one from happening again, shielding not only overpasses but our lives and economy.
Nazanin Sadoughian, Surrey