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Weight of truck, crane may have been factor in Canso-area bridge collapse

The bridge linking Durells Island to Canso collapsed Tuesday under the weight of a transport truck hauling a crane intended to help in the construction of its' replacement. (AARON BESWICK PHOTO)
The bridge linking Durells Island to Canso collapsed Tuesday, July 7, 2020 under the weight of a transport truck hauling a crane intended to help in the construction of its replacement. - Aaron Beswick
CANSO, N.S. —

Ginny Boudreau won’t be making that farewell jump off the Tittle Bridge this summer she'd planned with her siblings, and that’s fine with her.

“We’re just very thankful no one was seriously injured,” Boudreau said Wednesday, a day after the bridge linking Durells Island to Canso collapsed under the weight of a transport truck hauling a crane.

The truck’s driver survived Tuesday afternoon's plunge into the water and, according to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, was taken to hospital for observation.

By Wednesday morning, nearly everyone in Canso it seems had seen the video posted online by a bystander of the bridge collapsing with truck, crane and driver.



Provincial government officials remained tight-lipped on Wednesday, stating only that both the departments of Labour and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal were investigating the incident.

The tracked crane was being hauled to Durells Island to begin construction on a replacement for the aging steel-truss bridge.

Antigonish-based Alva Construction has the contract to build the replacement. No one from the company was available to comment Wednesday.

The bridge had a maximum permissible weight of 41,500 kilograms.

The side of the crane visible above the water bears the markings Terex HC80.

According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the crane has a transport weight of 39,916 kilograms.

A truck hauling a flatbed trailer can weigh an additional 14,000 to 17,000 kilograms.


The bridge linking Canso to Durells Island collapsed Tuesday afternoon, July 7, 2020, under the weight of a transport truck carrying a crane. - Aaron Beswick
The bridge linking Canso to Durells Island collapsed Tuesday afternoon, July 7, 2020, under the weight of a transport truck carrying a crane. - Aaron Beswick

“The bridge wasn’t in good shape, that’s why they were replacing it,” said Boudreau, 56.

“It’s been around as long as I remember.”

During her teenage years, she remembers the bridge being worked on. But instead of building a bridge alongside it, as they were about to start doing before Tuesday’s collapse, workers filled in the short tickle between the mainland and Durells Island with gravel and rerouted traffic that way.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has committed to get a temporary bridge in place quickly.

Eleven families live on the island. Most, like Boudreau, have boats.

Between the Canso-Hazel Hill Fire Department and families and friends, Boudreau said everyone would make do until a replacement link is established.

“You know, when I was a kid, we had the run of the entire island and were only allowed to cross that bridge for school and church,” said Boudreau, who had 11 siblings.

“There was a lady who lived on the other side who would call Mom if she saw us trying to cross it.”

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