Pratt Road overpass will be enclosed
Residents who use Highway 1 to travel to and from Dallas can breath a little easier on their commute.
The province has decided to enclose the Pat Road pedestrian overpass following a slew of dangerous incidents of vandalism in recent months.
The Ministry of Transportation is planning to carry out a trial enclosure using a light-weight galvanized steel mesh to prevent vandals from throwing objects onto vehicles on the highway below.
According to the ministry, a trial section will be fitted to the pedestrian overpass within the next two weeks and monitored to ensure the creative design works as expected.
If the enclosure proves effective in withstanding snow and ice loading, the ministry will extend the enclosure over the complete overpass and look at other appropriate locations.
The ministry noted standard steel meshing, combined with snow and ice loading, make retrofitting pedestrian overpasses with enclosures impractical due to weight increases.
However, recent improvements in materials and creative design solutions have enabled the ministry to develop an enclosure solution that is lightweight, strong and protective.
There have been several close calls from people throwing debris off the overpass, including one on Halloween night when a trucker driving east on the highway through Dallas had a pumpkin crash through his windshield.
The large pumpkin broke the windshield and smashed through the cab’s back window.
The driver suffered minor cuts as a result of the broken glass, but was able to safely pull the rig over.
City council sent a letter to the ministry, requesting changes to the overpass following the Halloween incident.