POUCE COUPE – Repairs and improvements to the Pouce Coupe River Bridge have been completed following a tanker truck crash in November 2019 that resulted in multi-day closures and an oil spill.
Improvements made to the bridge include replacing the steel railings with concrete barriers, widening the deck edges and enhancing drainage. These significant upgrades will improve the long-term safety and reliability of the Pouce Coupe River Bridge for people who live in the community, as well as commercial drivers who regularly use this route.
“Highway 49 is a critical route between northern B.C. and Alberta that supports our transportation and tourism sectors,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Ensuring the long-term integrity of the Pouce Coupe River Bridge provides reliable access for the people who live and work in the region and supports our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through the safe and efficient movement of goods.”
The two-lane, 60-metre bridge was damaged when an eastbound tractor-trailer lost control and crashed while travelling over the bridge. The accident resulted in the tanker truck catching fire, a significant spill, and the bridge was closed to traffic for several days while the cleanup occurred.
The bridge, which is about nine kilometres east of Dawson Creek, is crossed by nearly 2,800 vehicles per day in summer. Highway 49 is the primary overload route from Alberta into B.C., making the bridge a key piece of transportation infrastructure for commercial and industrial traffic.