January 24, 2019 3:50 pm
Updated: January 25, 2019 12:07 am

RCMP suspect piece of crane boom damaged Wabamun overpass; Highway 16 now fully reopened

File photo of an RCMP cruiser.

Kirby Bourne/630 CHED/File

RCMP west of Edmonton were forced to shut down a portion of Highway 16 after what’s believed to be a hit-and-run collision involving a crane boom and the Wabamun overpass.

On Wednesday at about 10 p.m., Stony Plain/Spruce Grove/Enoch RCMP were called about a traffic hazard in the highway’s eastbound lane at the overpass.

When officers arrived on scene, they found “what appeared to be a piece of a crane boom lying in the eastbound lane.”

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RCMP believe an oversized load or a load with a crane boom extended struck the bottom of the Wabamun overpass. The suspect vehicle did not stay at the scene.

Officers hope other drivers may have seen something to help in this investigation or that the driver might report themselves and the crash to RCMP. It’s unlikely the driver was unaware the bridge was damaged, RCMP said.

“I would say that they would have felt or seen something behind them,” Const. Shelley Nasheim with Stony Plain RCMP said.

“There is structural damage to the bridge so I would think it would be difficult not to notice that.”

The bridge’s steel girders were damaged. A crew was on scene as of noon Thursday assessing the damage and waiting for a structural integrity review.

Workers were using chicken wire to contain parts of the bridge that were damaged.

The eastbound driving lane of Highway 16 was closed while crews addressed the damage. On Thursday night, the RCMP said the eastbound lane had been reopened.

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