© Elizabeth MacDonald photo
These tractor trailers were stopped and fined after police received an anonymous complaint the vehicles had illegally crossed the Placentia lift bridge, currently under a 13 tonne weight restriction.
Alantra Transportation in New Brunswick was fined $1,598.00 for crossing the Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge while over the weight limit.
RCMP in Placentia said they first received an anonymous call at around 5:30 p.m. on March 21 about the trucks passing across the bridge, but afterwards got another call from Councilor Noella Collins who notified them of where they could find the vehicles.
RCMP Constable Todd Hussey said they seized the vehicles, which were parked at an empty lot near the Placentia post office, until the Department of Transportation could send out workers with scales so the tractor trailers could be weighed to determine if they were in fact over the limit.
Const. Hussey said one vehicle was over the limit by 8,400 kilograms while the other was 12,800 over, almost double the allowable limits recently imposed by government because of the weakening structure of the bridge.
The fines handed out were based on the weight amount the vehicles were over. As well, a 15 per cent victim surcharge is added to each fine.
Placentia Mayor Bill Hogan said he was pleased to see fines handed out but unimpressed that any business would place more strain on an already weakened piece of infrastructure.
Asked whether the town could also impose fines or remove business permits to businesses that illegally cross the bridge, Mayor Hogan said the town couldn’t do anything.
“Our hands are tied,” he said. “All we can do is advocate to government what we want but government is responsible for the bridge.”
On that matter, Mayor Hogan said he was unimpressed with the response they’ve gotten so far.
“We met with Tom Hedderson and Felix Collins on Feb. 28 and were told then it would be three months to do the repairs. Three months to the day. It is already one month in and we don’t see anything done yet.”
Mayor Hogan suggested the person who mans the lift bridge could have more duties imposed on them and if they see a vehicle coming they suspect is overweight, they could lower the barrier across the bridge used when the bridge is about to lift.
“We need something done, as we can see,” said the Placentia mayor.
Councilor Collins, who called police to let them know about the incident was not happy that a vehicle would cross the bridge in the state it is in.
“This is our town and our safety,” she said. “We all need to keep an eye on that bridge and what’s happening with it. This is not a joke. People and businesses need to take this very seriously.”
The fines handed out were issued under Section 4 of the Highway Traffic Act.