RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – The province says there’s no plan for an overheight warning system at the Massey Tunnel. On Highway One in Langley there are warning signs at overpasses that start flashing amber lights if a truck is not going to make it through.

But BC’s transportation ministry says overheight truck crashes at the tunnel only happen once or twice a year, despite the 300 trucks an hour using the span during peak periods. As for any plans to upgrade or replace the tunnel, the province says there aren’t any.

Mounties dealing with the crash on Monday say they support anything that improves safety.

The driver in that accident was fined $115 after his semi hit an overpass and he lost his container, causing major delays.

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The Massey Tunnel sees a very large volume of commercial vehicle traffic, as it is one of the main north-south routes from Vancouver to the ferries, US border, Vancouver Landfill and Deltaport.  Daily volumes can reach approximately 300 trucks an hour during weekdays. Yet, despite these volumes the accident rate is low.  In particular, instances of trucks hitting the beam at the entrance to the tunnel are rare – anecdotally, one or two incidents occur a year at most.

The rate is low because the height restriction for Massey tunnel is well-known in the trucking industry. To drive an over height vehicle in BC, a permit is required, and the permit clearly states that any vehicle over legal height cannot enter the tunnel.  The maximum height limit is also posted on signs on the side of the road leading up to the tunnel.

The ministry recognizes the importance of this corridor to the public and undertakes long-range planning to ensure public safety and efficient traffic flow.  At this time, a detection system, which would have to be installed in both directions, is not being considered.