NIPIGON, ON ----- February 29, 2016 ---- With the re-opening of the Nipigon River Bridge to two lanes of traffic last week, work will resume Tuesday on the remainder of the project.
The next phase of work includes the demolition of the former bridge in order to make way for the other side of the new cable-stayed bridge. This phase is expected to last up to six weeks, weather permitting.
Following demolition, work will then shift to construction of the second half of the new bridge and will focus on construction of the third tower for the remainder of this year. Recent issues that led to last month’s bridge failure were not related to the tower design.
Area residents, local communities and motorists should know that the Nipigon River Bridge is safe for use.
Ministry of Transportation officials are confident that the recent issues with the bridge will not reoccur. The temporary repairs have been reviewed by an independent engineering firm that have determined the solution to be appropriate and therefore the bridge safe for the travelling public.
Testing of the bolts continues at the two independent labs and work is ongoing to determine the cause of the failure. Once a cause has been determined, the information will be made public.
In a media release Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay Superior North stated “With work resuming on the Nipigon River Bridge we are again, one-step closer to our goal of four-laning Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon. I’d like to thank local residents, communities, motorists and travellers for their patience and understanding while the temporary repairs were installed in order to reopen the bridge to two lanes of traffic. I’d also like to thank the Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, and his ministry for their hard work and I look forward to continue working with them as we bring this project closer to completion. I also look forward to providing a further update once this the information on the cause of the bridge failure has been determined.”