Nipigon River Bridge

January 11, 2016 by staff 

Nipigon River Bridge, The Nipigon River Bridge in northwestern Ontario is open to one lane this morning, a day after a piece of its decking lifted more than 60 centimetres.

The bridge had been shut down to traffic Sunday afternoon. On Monday morning, east-west traffic is being routed through the one open lane with the help of a pilot vehicle

The Trans-Canada running through Nipigon is the only major highway in the area.

On Sunday, Mayor Richard Harvey said the only option for motorists crossing northern Ontario was to detour through the U.S. It is the only road in northern Ontario that connects Eastern and Western Canada.

Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle will get a first-hand look at the Nipigon River Bridge, and get an update from engineers who are assessing the extent of the damage and how long it will take to repair.

Harvey told CBC News the bridge closure is part of his community’s emergency plan.

“If this is something that is going to take a little longer, we do have other options that we’ll be looking at to get traffic moving as quickly as possible,” he said.

Currently the township is opening up community centres to give anyone stranded a place to stay.

Provincial police had been stopping people heading out on the Trans-Canada Highway at larger Ontario centres such as Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Terrace Bay, telling them to turn back or use an alternate route through the U.S.

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