Toronto-bound Burlington Skyway will be closed until at least Monday
ABOVE: Toronto-bound lanes of the Burlington Skyway will be closed all weekend. Mark Carcasole reports.
BURLINGTON, Ont. – The Toronto-bound lanes of the Burlington Skyway will be closed until at least Monday afternoon after a dump truck hit the bridge that links the Hamilton-Niagara region to the Toronto area.
Police say part of the Skyway will remain closed as workers clear debris from the bridge before the extent of the damage can be fully determined
The collision on the Burlington Skyway just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill and shut down northbound lanes.
Police say the bridge structure sustained “significant damage” and that the Toronto-bound lanes of the Queen Elizabeth Way remain closed between Eastport Drive and North Shore Boulevard.
Motorists are being advised to use Eastport Drive, which runs under the Skyway bridge.
The OPP says drivers can also use the Red Hill Valley Parkway exit to the Lincoln Alexander Parkway and then onto eastbound Highway 403.
The ministry has asked construction crews who were working on the bridge not to work Monday to help alleviate traffic congestion.
Government officials estimate 75,000 people use the bridge on an average day.
Police say the crash caused “significant structural damage” and the Toronto-bound lanes will stay closed until engineers determine the highway is safe to reopen.
It appears the truck’s bed was raised, causing it to hit the scaffolding on the bridge.
WATCH: Laura Zilke looks into the training required of truck drivers in Ontario.
Three other vehicles, a transport truck and two cars, were also damaged in the crash.
There are several events in Toronto during the long weekend including the practice rounds of the Rogers Cup and the Caribbean Carnival which are expected to draw thousands of tourists – many of whom might use the Burlington Skyway to reach Toronto.
But Andrew Weir, vice-president of Tourism Toronto noted an increasing number of American tourists are choosing to fly to Toronto rather than drive.
“Many of the people that come for carnival make a longer trip out of it, so they may have already been here for a few days,” Weir said Friday. “We have no doubt it’s going to be a big weekend again.”
WATCH: A Global News helicopter was on the scene following Thursday’s damaging accident on the Burlington Skyway
The truck driver, Sukhvinder Singh Rai, 34, is charged with impaired driving and with exceeding 80 milligrams of blood alcohol content in a motor vehicle.
He has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in a Hamilton court on August 22.
Police say the driver suffered minor injuries.
It’s unclear who will have to pay for the damages. Poei said in a media conference call Friday that whoever is deemed responsible for the accident will have to pay for the repair of crown property and the damage cars.
But she would not confirm whether the driver will have to pay for the damage.