The Burlington Skyway crash yesterday has created a storm of travel questions ahead of the busy August holiday weekend.

The driver of a large truck crashed into and damaged the Skyway on Thursday, putting a cloud over Toronto-bound traffic ahead of the Civic Holiday in Ontario.

Sukhvinder Singh Rai, 34, of Brampton, Ont., was arrested at the scene and taken to the Burlington OPP detachment for breath tests. He faces one count of impaired operation of a motor vehicle and one count of blood alcohol level exceeding 80 milligrams while operating a motor vehicle.

Here’s more of what you need to know about the Burlington Skyway crash and bridge closure:

What happened:

On Thursday, at 3:40 p.m. ET, a dump truck tried to travel over the bridge with its bucket raised. The bucket slammed into the bridge’s overhead steel trusses and girders, causing extensive damage.

What’s closed:

The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) is closed between Eastport Drive and North Shore Boulevard. The lanes to Toronto are closed. The bridge now needs to be inspected by structural engineers, which is expected to happen Friday. The repairs, however, could take days. The closure only affects Toronto-bound traffic on the QEW. Traffic lanes heading south over the bridge and into the Niagara Region will be open, though drivers can expect it will be slow. CBC’s Linda Ward reports that the OPP expects to have an update on when the bridge might reopen around suppertime.

How busy is this bridge?:

Located at the western end of Lake Ontario, the bridge is a crucial link between the Greater Toronto Area and the Niagara Peninsula, which borders upstate New York. It carries about 80,000 vehicles a day.

To make matters worse:

The August long weekend is one of the summer’s busiest for highway travel. Carloads of visitors, many from the U.S., make the trip to Toronto for the Caribbean Carnival.

Alternate routes:

Drivers heading to Toronto from south of the bridge can take Eastport Drive, which runs under the Skyway bridge. Traffic was moving slowly on Eastport at 6:30 a.m. ET Friday. Another option for northbound drivers is to exit the QEW at Centennial Parkway or the Redhill Valley Parkway, and make their way through Hamilton to connect with northbound Highway 403.

GO Transit

GO Transit’s Route 12, which travels from Niagara Falls, Ont., to Toronto’s Union Station, continues to be delayed up to an hour Friday morning, according to the agency’s most recent update. Train and bus connections are happening at Aldershot instead of Burlington. That’s not the only route affected. Anne Marie Aikins, a spokeswoman for the agency, said, “We’ve got a number of bus delays as a result of the closure, Gardiner [Expressway] renovations and long weekend traffic.”

Rush-hour traffic on Gardiner and Lakeshore are worsened by the bridge closure, too, she said. She advised commuters to bring their patience. “Long weekend is almost here!” she added.


Story source: CBC News