Damage to MacKay Bridge toll booth could take weeks to repair after crash

It could be weeks before repairs are completed on Halifax's MacKay Bridge after a tractor-trailer struck a toll booth this morning.

No one injured, but Halifax Harbour Bridges CEO Steve Snider says staff 'fairly shaken up'

A toll booth on the MacKay Bridge was damaged on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, after it was struck by a tractor-trailer. (Matthew Lambert/CBC)

It could be weeks before repairs are completed on the MacKay Bridge after a tractor-trailer struck and damaged a toll booth on the Dartmouth side of the crossing.

The truck became stuck in one of the middle, Halifax-bound toll booths designed for cars around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"This is the most extensive damage I've seen in my 20-plus years here at the commission," said Steve Snider, the CEO of Halifax Harbour Bridges.

"He was going at a speed sufficient that he basically cleared the top of the canopy. The entire concrete pads that were up there, and all the electronics were removed."

No one was injured. It's not yet clear what caused the tractor-trailer to crash into the booth.

The truck was cleared from the scene by mid-afternoon Wednesday, though Snider warned that commuters should prepare for delays.

The two lanes on either side of the toll booth that was hit were inspected by structural engineers and deemed safe to reopen.

With the damaged lane closed, the bridge commission has switched one of the MacPass-only lanes to accept MacPass and coins.

Halifax Harbour Bridges CEO Steve Snider called Wednesday's damage the 'most extensive' he's seen in the past two decades. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Snider said there's not yet any timeline to fix the damage, but it could be weeks. The accident is currently under investigation by the bridge commission.

"We have bridge patrol, our special constables, and they are able to write summary offence tickets for things like speeding and inattentive driving and things like that," said Alison MacDonald, a spokesperson for Halifax Harbour Bridges.

No one was injured, but Snider said staff are "fairly shaken up."

"You have a truck coming at a fairly high rate of speed into the toll plaza and into a lane that's not big enough to accommodate it. We're just very, very fortunate that neither the driver nor staff or any other member of the public were injured this morning," he said.

Snider urged drivers to pay more attention to their surroundings.

"This is a work zone for the people who are out here to serve the public. Please put the cellphones away, please drive at an appropriate rate of speed, please pay attention and be safe," he said.

The bridge commission says it could take weeks to repair the damage. (Craig Paisley/CBC)