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Burlington Skyway bridge reopens after winds force afternoon closure

Ontario Provincial Police closed both directions of the Burlington Skyway bridge for several hours on Wednesday afternoon because of "extreme winds" that caused a tractor-trailer to flip over.

Tractor-trailer 'rolled over like a wave,' says driver

Strong winds blew over a transport truck on the Fort Erie-bound side of the Burlington Skyway bridge. Ontario Provincial Police have closed the bridge due to safety concerns. (Kerry Schmidt/Twitter)

Ontario Provincial Police closed both directions of the Burlington Skyway bridge for several hours on Wednesday afternoon because of "extreme winds" that caused a tractor-trailer to flip over.

Police reopened both lanes of the bridge at 5 p.m.

Around noon, a transport truck was blown over on its side by the wind, forcing closure of the Fort Erie-bound lanes. Shortly after, police shut down the bridge because of the blustery conditions.

James Estepp was driving the truck when it rolled. 

"What happened is that they had signs out saying slow down due to high winds," said Estepp, a driver from Texas.

"I had slowed down ... and the traffic was going like maybe 50 km/h, and the next thing I knew, the back of the trailer starting rolling over, and I was trying to adjust for it, but it just kind of rolled over like a wave." 

Estepp is an experienced driver and said he has never been involved in a collision. He drives on the Skyway a couple of times a month and has had to deal with windy conditions on it before. 

But the transport truck driver said he might consider a career change. 

"I'm going to become a pilot, now that I can fly," he told CBC News. 

Recovery crews were 'fighting with the wind' to remove the blown over transport truck from the top of the bridge, police said. (Nicole Brockbank/CBC)

No one was injured during the rollover, and police said the transport truck was not carrying a load. 

Crews were on scene "fighting with the wind," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, a spokesperson for the police.

The QEW was closed from Eastport Drive to North Shore Boulevard, causing major delays in the area for more than five hours. 

90 km/h wind gusts

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement earlier today, calling for wind gusts of up to 90 km/h this afternoon. 

The Garden City Skyway near St. Catharines, Ont., has also been closed because of high winds.

Winds are expected to diminish early in the evening, the weather agency says.  

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