No injuries after concrete slab crashes onto Highway 403 in Brantford, Ont.

A section of Highway 403 in Brantford, Ont. was closed in both directions Monday after a piece of an overpass bridge broke off and fell onto the highway.

Police said a commercial motor vehicle, possibly carrying a front-end loader, hit the Wayne Gretzky Parkway bridge just after 1 p.m. on Monday. The collision caused the huge piece of concrete to fall, smashing through the guard rails as it crashed down onto the roadway.

No injuries have been reported.

Police said the concrete slab appears to be the bridge's strike plate, which is installed to protect the bridge in the event of a collision.

Police said this is the third time in half a year the bridge has been hit, but this time the strike plate didn’t stay up,

Given the size of the slab and the speed with which the accident happened, police said it's fortunate no one was hurt.

 “[It's] extremely lucky," said OPP Const. Conrad Vitalis. "If there were any vehicles following closely behind the vehicle that struck the strike plate when it fell… it could have been horrific results.”

A large piece of the Wayne Gretzky Parkway bridge in Brantford fell onto highway 403 after being struck early this afternoon. @ColtonWiensCTV and I are LIVE from the scene for @CTVKitchener News at Six! pic.twitter.com/OsnTA5o8Mi

— Vidman �� Dan Lauckner (@vidman) May 9, 2022

ROADWAY REOPENS BUT FEARS REMAIN

By Tuesday, Highway 403 had reopened in both directions and the Wayne Gretzky Parkway overpass had reopened both southbound lanes and one northbound lane.

However, some drivers CTV spoke to said they’re now avoiding the crossing.

“There are other options to get around that bridge even though it is very inconvenient,” said one. “But until this city or the province does something, I wouldn’t go under that overpass.”

The Ministry of Transportation said its engineers have inspected the condition of the bridge and have determined that it is safe for use until repairs can be completed. That work is expected to be finished this summer, it said.

Monday’s incident is the third time the bridge has been struck since December, the ministry confirmed.

Brantford city councillor Richard Carpenter said the bridge meets the standard height requirements for 400 series highways.

“So there’s no particular reason why this bridge seems to be the one that got struck so many times,” Carpenter continued.

The City of Brantford is now urging the province to repair the bridge as soon as possible.

“That’s a pretty significant artillery road heading north and south in our community,” said Carpenter. “So it’s important to us that the ministry moves as quickly as possible.”

The City of Brantford said it will issue regular on updates on repairs to the bridge as they are provided by the Ministry of Transportation.