The city has reopened the lower deck of the Centre Street bridge after it was closed on Monday when a van wedged itself under the deck and damaged some utility lines.

'If you're failing to hear the menacing crunch of a metal pole going over the top of your vehicle, I'm not sure what else I can recommend.'— Sean Somers with the city's roads department 

Enmax crews have wrapped up its repair work, and the bridge will be operational as usual for Wednesday morning's commute.

Sean Somers, with the city's roads department, says it appears the van's driver ignored the warning system on approaches to the bridge aimed at preventing over-height vehicles from entering the 2.7-metre lower deck.

A Calgary man has been charged with careless driving and fined the maximum amount of $402 and six demerits for taking the truck onto the bridge.

Warning system already in place

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The warning sign on the lower deck of the Centre Street bridge. (CBC)

The city upgraded its warning system two years ago so when a large vehicle breaks a beam of light it triggers a sensor and warning signs start to flash, alerting the driver not to go onto the bridge.

Somers says the warning system has cut the number of problems in half, but still about 20 vehicles a year get wedged or damage the bridge — even though the warning system ends with a metal bar hanging over the road that an oversized vehicle would hit.

"If you're failing to hear the menacing crunch of a metal pole going over the top of your vehicle, I'm not sure what else I can recommend," he said.

Doris Kauffman with ENMAX said earlier on Tuesday that crews were assessing if some of the utility lines could be removed during the repairs, which could slightly raise the clearance on the bridge.

"The lower level actually contains cables that are potentially no longer in use at all any more and we may be able to, depending on what we find in the upper duct, [find] room for us to reroute some of those," she said.