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Truck drivers handed hefty fines for carrying loads too heavy for rural Alberta bridge

Alberta sheriffs stopped trucks crossing Vinca bridge, on Highway 38, after complaints of trucks carrying heavy loads. Courtesy: Alberta Sheriffs/Facebook

Editor’s note: This story originally stated the new bridge will support 20 tonnes when it will actually support 200 tonnes. The story has been updated with the correct information.

Alberta sheriffs have handed out hefty fines to a number of commercial truck drivers for driving overweight vehicles on a Sturgeon County bridge.

According to an Alberta Sheriffs Facebook post, some of those fines exceeded $20,000.

On July 15, the sheriff highway patrol started direct enforcement on the Vinca bridge on Highway 38, south of Redwater, due to complaints about overloaded trucks.

Read more: 2 Albertans face stunting charges after vehicles caught travelling at 232 km/hr in N.S.

The Albert government listed the Vinca bridge as needing a replacement over the North Saskatchewan river. The proposed project is estimated to cost $90 million and would be able to support 200 tonnes.

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A Facebook post by Alberta Sheriffs said there has been a weight restriction on that bridge since June 8 and that the restriction was clearly marked by signs on several routes leading to the bridge.

Alberta sheriffs hand find to truck driver for driving over Vinca bridge with load exceeding weight limit. Courtesy: Alberta Sheriffs/Facebook

Structural issues identified in the bridge’s steel girders led to the traffic restriction.

Three vehicles were found exceeding the 20-tonne limit.

Read more: Alcohol, drugs suspected in Alberta highway crash that injured 4 people

One truck hauling soil was 28,220 kilograms overweight. The fine under the Commercial Vehicle Dimension and Weight Regulation amounted to $15,904.

Another two trucks were stopped and each weighed more than the allowed limit. One of those fully-loaded tanker trucks was carrying dangerous goods and the driver was fined $21,307.

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The other driver was carrying a load of sod and was fined $23,180.

Alberta sheriffs said commercial operators have a duty to to stay up-to-date on road restrictions on their travel routes, and stressed damage to bridges can create unsafe driving conditions for everyone on the road.

Road advisories and alerts are posted on 511.alberta.ca