Wharf Street closed to semi traffic after accident

There is a ban on truck traffic on Wharf Street, after a semi truck and trailer loaded with pipe flipped into the ditch on Wharf.

There is a ban on truck traffic on Wharf Street, after a semi truck and trailer loaded with pipe flipped into the ditch at the corner of Wharf and Princess on Friday.

It was an I-told-you-so moment for Hammond resident Dan Mason, who predicted in January that truck traffic on the narrow roads would cause accidents. He and other Hammond residents complained the neighbourhood is not appropriate for semi trucks.

After the accident Friday afternoon, the city blocked Wharf Street with concrete barriers, and there were also signs prohibiting trucks over 5,000 kg. The barriers were moved once, trucks were on the route on Saturday, and police and bylaws responded by stopping the trucks, and the barriers were restored.

“I give them props for that,” said Mason of Saturday’s enforcement.

He has been calling for an end to the truck traffic, and said there was peace and quiet for the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday.

But somebody moved the barriers again in the early morning hours of Monday morning, said Mason, and a “convoy” of trucks moved through.

“At 2:15 a.m. my house started to shake,” he said.

Friday’s accident was the first where a truck flipped, but there have been incidents of trucks going into the ditch.

Sunny Chohan of Chohan Trucking said he is working with bylaws to get the ban lifted.

He agrees the streets are narrow, and said there are no shoulders and no sidewalks.

He said Friday’s accident occurred when two trucks met at the corner of Wharf and Princess, and one slid off the road when the shoulder collapsed.

“That was totally preventable, and something that shouldn’t have happened,” said Chohan.

Chohan has been operating from a riverside site right under the Golden Ears Bridge since December, but said his company has 30 years of trucking experience.

He is pitching to bylaws that he will have an escort vehicle bring new drivers in and out of his yard on Wharf Street. Also, drivers will go in and out by appointment.

“We will know when they are coming and going,” he said.

He said there have been “a couple” of incidents where trucks have gone in the ditch, but they were on their wheels, and pulled out within hours.

Mason has been calling for development of a new route that will run parallel to the Golden Ears Bridge and take trucks to the industrial park and 113B Avenue.

City Bylaws director Robin McNair said operations blocked Wharf Street with concrete no post barriers near the Golden Ears Bridge on Friday, and had to restore the barriers Saturday morning, and again on Monday.

She said bylaws is working with the trucking company to find a safe way to have trucks go through the Hammond residential neighbourhood. She said there is a question of whether the trucking company can safely operate out of its current location.

“We are concerned about the safety of the neighbourhood,” said McNair.

She said on Tuesday bylaws would allow three trucks in and three more out that day, and then Wharf Street would be closed again “until we get things resolved.”

The ticket for driving on a route where trucks are prohibited is $50, but McNair said bylaws can take other measures to get compliance.

However, she believes the trucking company will comply and is working to address the city’s safety concerns.