Independent tests to find cause of Nipigon Bridge failure to start Monday

TORONTO -- Ontario's government is promising an update early next week on the next steps to reopen a second lane on the Nipigon River Bridge following a failure of the cable-stayed structure, which connects east and west travel in the province's north.

See Full Article

"I anticipate that we'll have an update with respect to what I'm calling the next interim fix because obviously we want to get both lanes reopened on the bridge as soon as possible, but as soon as possible safely," Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said Friday.

"I don't know timelines because it is too early to speculate at this point exactly what that fix will look like, but we are focused on understanding why it happened, getting accurate information and analysis done around that, and getting the bridge reopened."

The bridge, which is part of the Trans-Canada highway, was closed for about 24 hours starting Sunday afternoon after part of the steel decking separated and rose about 60 centimetres.

Daily, about 1,300 trucks cross the bridge, carrying about $100 million worth of goods.

Ministry of Transportation staff used more than 100 large cement blocks as counterweights to lower the bridge surface so they could reopen one lane of traffic on Monday. Oversized trucks weighing more than 63,500 kilograms are still being assessed on a case-by-case basis to see if they can cross the bridge or have to take a lengthy detour through the United States.

Del Duca also announced Friday that two independent testing facilities have been hired to find out what led to the bridge failure.

The National Research Council of Canada and Surface Science Western at Western University will start tests Monday to determine what caused bolts holding the bridge cables to fail, allowing the steel decking to separate and rise up.

"Two labs have been retained to look at some of the materials, the bolts in particular that people have heard about," said Del Duca. "We'll get a report back on that."

Del Duca cautioned people about speculating on the cause of the bridge failure -- "even though I know it's fun to do sometimes" -- until Ministry of Transportation engineers figure out what really happened and why.

"We're doing the analysis, we're taking a look at that, and we will come forward with updates and solutions as we have them ready," he said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said earlier this week that it was too early to start blaming the contractor for the problems with Nipigon Bridge, and urged people to "take a breath" while engineers determine what went wrong.

The $106-million Nipigon River Bridge opened the first two lanes about two months ago, but the four-lane bridge project isn't scheduled to be completed until next year.

Wynne vowed the province will get to the bottom of what happened last Sunday, fix it, and make sure it doesn't happen again.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Inquiry into Afghanistan vet who killed family, self, to continue in Nova Scotia

    Canada News CTV News
    GUYSBOROUGH, N.S. -- An inquiry into an Afghanistan war veteran who shot and killed three members of this family before turning the gun on himself continues today in Nova Scotia. It's the second full day of hearings for the inquiry into the case of Lionel Desmond, a 33-year-old former infantryman who killed his mother, wife and daughter before killing himself in January 2017. Source
  • Wildfire threatens homes on Australian capital's outskirts

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA -- A wildfire sparked by a military helicopter helping firefighting efforts was blazing out of control and threatening homes on the outskirts of Australia's capital on Tuesday as fire danger escalated across the country's southeast. Source
  • Canadians advised to avoid all travel to China's Hubei province amid outbreak

    Canada News CTV News
    China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of a new form of coronavirus, with 106 deaths. Nearly all of the fatalities have been in central Hubei province, but the new total includes the first death in Beijing. Source
  • Netanyahu withdraws request for immunity from prosecution

    World News CBC News
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu withdrew his request for immunity from prosecution on Tuesday, hours before parliamentary proceedings on the subject were set to begin. Netanyahu, who was visiting Washington ahead of the launch of U.S. Source
  • U.K. will allow Huawei to play a role in building its 5G networks

    World News CBC News
    Britain will allow Chinese telecom giant Huawei a limited role in building its 5G networks, the government said on Tuesday. It said high-risk vendors would be excluded from the sensitive core of networks, and there would be a 35 per cent cap on their involvement in the non-sensitive parts. Source
  • Exiled former Central African Republic president returns ahead of election

    World News CBC News
    Former Central African Republic President François Bozizé insists he has returned from exile with peaceful intentions, even as concerns are growing that he will run in the upcoming presidential election. Bozizé, who came to power in a coup and ruled for a decade, was ousted by a coalition of rebel groups in 2013, leading to years of conflict. Source
  • One-day elementary teacher strikes continue in Guelph, Prince Edward County

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The union representing Ontario's elementary school teachers say the one-day strikes set to take place throughout the week are a precursor to more aggressive action. The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario says it plans to start introducing province-wide strikes starting next Thursday, even as members continue a series of rotating, one-day walkouts at boards across the province. Source
  • Prince Andrew urged to cooperate with U.S. over Epstein

    World News CTV News
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- Lawyers representing alleged victims of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on Tuesday urged Britain's Prince Andrew to help U.S. investigators, after a prosecutor said he had given "zero cooperation.” U.S. Source
  • Prince Andrew urged to co-operate with U.S. over Epstein

    World News CTV News
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- Lawyers representing alleged victims of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on Tuesday urged Prince Andrew to help U.S. investigators, after a prosecutor said he had given "zero co-operation.” U.S. lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents five women allegedly assaulted by Epstein, said the Duke of York has "a moral obligation" to meet with the FBI and that his failure to do so was "a disservice to the victims. Source
  • RCMP secrets-case arrest triggered internal warnings, advisories to Mounties

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- After the shocking arrest of one of their own on national-secrecy charges, rank-and-file Mounties were encouraged to get counselling if needed, decline to speak with the media and avoid the headquarters venue where a news conference on the case was taking place, newly released documents show. Source