The Toronto-bound lanes of the Burlington Skyway reopened Monday night, four days after a dump truck damaged the bridge's structure, tying up traffic and forcing detours over the holiday weekend. .
Crew have been completing temporary repair to the steel and pavement of the bridge over the weekend, and more permanent repairs are needed over the coming months, said Astrid Poei, communications co-ordinator with Ontario's Ministry of Transportation.
The permanent repairs will take place overnight to lessen the impact on traffic but will require lane reductions, Poei said.
A truck with its bucket raised slammed into the overhead steel trusses and girders of the bridge last Thursday, causing extensive damage and forcing the closure of the Toronto-bound lanes.
Update - QEW Toronto bound lanes on the Burlington Skyway have reopened— Ontario Prov Police (@OPP_GTATraffic) August 4, 2014
Over the weekend, crews removed the two trucks stuck on the bridge, the scaffolding and the damaged steel, Poei said. The damaged pavement has also been replaced with new asphalt.
A temporary beam was installed to replace the damaged beam. A permanent beam should be ready to install in two months.
- Burlington Skyway crash: What you need to know
- Burlington Skyway closed all weekend as engineers assess damage
Located at the western end of Lake Ontario, the Burlington Skyway is a crucial link between the Greater Toronto Area and the Niagara Peninsula. On average, 75,000 cars go through the Toronto-bound lanes of the bridge daily. The crash and its aftermath also slowed down traffic in the opposite lanes because of "visual distractions," Poei said.
To make matters worse, the August long weekend is one of the summer's busiest time for highway travel. Carloads of visitors — many from the U.S. — use the bridge to get to Toronto's annual Caribbean Carnival.
No one was seriously injured in the crash.
The driver of the truck was arrested at the scene and taken into custody.
Sukhvinder Singh Rai, 34, of Brampton, Ont., faces one count of impaired operation of a motor vehicle and one count of blood alcohol level exceeding 80 milligrams while operating a motor vehicle.
As a result of the charges, Rai's licence has been suspended for 90 days. He is scheduled to appear in a Hamilton court on Aug. 22, police said.
He has been released from custody.
When asked who would be responsible for the costs, Poei said that would be determined after the court hears the charges.
"If found guilty, the liable party will have to cover the cost related to damages to Crown property," she said.
Poei said she does not yet know the costs of the repairs but said it is "in the thousands."
"We should not speculate, but it is not a cheap endeavour," she said.