Traffic heading over the W.R. Bennett Bridge from the Westside was backed up for a second time in two days Thursday when, once again, an accident occurred on the crest of the bridge during the morning rush hour. At one point, traffcic was backed up past Daimler Driver in West Kelowna. —Image: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Update: Second crash on Kelowna’s Bennett Bridge in two days causes huge rush-hour traffic back-up

Tuesday’s massive traffic jam is being attributed to RCMP keeping lanes closed for a scene analysis

Update May 24, 10 a.m.: Traffic heading into Kelowna from the west side of Okanagan Lake backed up and ground to a crawl during Thursday’s morning rush hour as a result of an the second accident in the eastbound lanes of the of the W.R. Bennett Bridge in two days.

The accident was occurred at the same spot on the bridge —the crest of the high arch—as it did on Tuesday. Tuesday’s accidentcaused a massive traffic back-up that resulted in traffic stretching back nearly all the way to Westbank at one point.

Despite that accident being cleared quickly, the resulting police investigation created the huge traffic back-up that took hours to clear.

The bridge has only two lanes into Kelowna, while there are three heading towards the Westside.

Original story: A traffic jam that added up to three hours to a Tuesday morning commute from West Kelowna to Kelowna is being attributed to an RCMP investigation of the scene.

The concessionaire, SNC Lavalin is responsible for managing incidents on the William R. Bennett bridge and they liaise closely with the ministry whenever these incidents occur. The accident happened at 6:34 a.m. Tuesday.

“SNC Lavalin was on site within 10 minutes, however, the RCMP required an analysis of the accident scene and instructed SNC Lavalin to not remove the vehicles until their analysis was complete. All lanes were open at 8:17 a.m.,” said a representative from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“The ministry’s contract with SNC Lavalin does include penalties for lane closures, however, this does not include the portion of time where RCMP are doing analysis, as this is beyond SNC’s control.”

READ MORE: CRASH BACKS UP TRAFFIC

SNC Lavalin takes proactive approaches to ensuring incidents like the one we experienced this morning are cleared quickly, including having a tow-truck parked on standby during peak traffic times in the morning and afternoon.

Ministry staff works closely with SNC Lavalin to ensure they are meeting their contractual obligations. For further information on this incident, please contact RCMP.

“Initial reports by witnesses at the scene indicated that vehicles involved in the collision sustained heavy damage and that all vehicles and their drivers involved in the crash remained at the scene,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.

“Witnesses also reported that a trailer attached to one of the vehicles involved became unhitched.”

To report a typo, email:
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