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Here’s what caused yesterday’s massive traffic snarl across North Shore

'Small pothole' causes big delays
Ironworkers hole web
A pothole on the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing paralyzed traffic in North Vancouver and West Vancouver on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.

This story has been updated.

A small pothole led to some massive delays for North Shore commuters Oct. 27.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure contractors had the centre lane of the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing closed for much of the day for an emergency repair for a “small hole” that appeared in the bridge deck.

“The nature of the hole required an immediate repair, which was completed as quickly as possible after the ministry’s maintenance contractor was first made aware of the problem at approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday morning,” a statement from the ministry read. “Repair work required accessing the bridge deck from underneath the bridge, and was completed within about five hours.”

But by then, the damage was done. Highway 1 eastbound traffic was backed up into West Vancouver and all of the feeder routes in North Vancouver were reduced to a crawl. On social media, many North Shore residents claimed it was the worst traffic jam they had seen in years.

“The ministry acknowledges the inconvenience motorists experienced as a result of yesterday’s repair work on the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge,” the ministry stated.

Ministry staff say they do not know what caused the hole to appear, although they say there is no structural damage to the bridge.

“However, following repairs, a ministry bridge crew will conduct an inspection of the bridge to ensure no similar defects in the road,” the statement read. “Like every one of the province’s bridges, the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge undergoes an annual inspection, where its condition is assessed and maintenance work is prioritized.”

Understandably, North Shore resident and commuters were not having it.



North Shore News has requested more information from the ministry.