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

  • Fire engulfs Northern California town, leveling businesses

    World News CTV News
    GREENVILLE, CALIF. -- California's largest wildfire has leveled much of the downtown and some surrounding homes in a small Northern California mountain community. The Dixie Fire tore through the Greenville on Wednesday evening, destroying businesses and homes as the sky was cast in an orange glow. Source
  • 'Trauma as his shield': Cuomo's apology, defense criticized

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- He said his actions had been misconstrued, his words misunderstood. He said it was cultural: He hugs, he kisses, he says "Ciao, bella." He said it was generational: Sometimes he lapses into "honey" or "sweetheart" or tells bad jokes. Source
  • 10 killed, 20 injured in Texas crash of overloaded van carrying migrants

    World News CBC News
    An overloaded van carrying 29 migrants crashed Wednesday on a remote South Texas highway, killing at least 10 people, including the driver, and injuring 20 others, authorities said. The crash happened shortly after 4 p.m. local time Wednesday on U.S. Source
  • In rare move for murder defendant, Durst expected to testify

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- New York real estate heir Robert Durst is expected to take the stand in his own defense in a Los Angeles County court Thursday in a rare move considered extremely risky for a defendant in a murder trial. Source
  • This Arkansas hospital is so short on nurses amid a COVID-19 surge, it's offering a US$25,000 signing bonus

    World News CTV News
    Takela Gardner began her nursing career just two years ago, but her patients already think she's a seasoned nurse. A registered nurse at a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) facility in Little Rock, Gardner told CNN she's had to essentially learn nursing on the fly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she said began eight months into her nursing career. Source
  • Australia pledges $1B to address treatment of Indigenous people

    World News CBC News
    Australia's government on Thursday pledged the equivalent of $1 billion Cdn to address what is called Indigenous disadvantage, including compensation to thousands of mixed-race children who were taken from their families over decades. The approximate $350 million to be used to compensate the so-called Stolen Generations by 2026 is the most expensive component of the package aimed at boosting Indigenous living standards in Australia. Source
  • Man pistol-whipped by Colorado cop feared for his life

    World News CTV News
    DENVER -- A Black man who was pistol-whipped and choked by a suburban Denver police officer said Wednesday that he feared for his life during the violent confrontation that led to assault charges against the officer and later his resignation. Source
  • At least 11 dead as van carrying migrants crashes in Texas

    World News CTV News
    ENCINO, TEXAS -- An overloaded van carrying about 25 migrants crashed Wednesday on a remote South Texas highway, killing at least 11 people, including the driver, and injuring more than a dozen others, authorities said. The crash happened shortly after 4 p.m. Source
  • At least 10 dead as van carrying migrants crashes in Texas

    World News CTV News
    ENCINO, TEXAS -- An overloaded van carrying 29 migrants crashed Wednesday on a remote South Texas highway, killing at least 10 people, including the driver, and injuring 20 others, authorities said. The crash happened shortly after 4 p.m. Source
  • First flight bringing Afghans who helped military arrives in Canada, with thousands more to come

    Canada News CBC News
    A government flight carrying dozens of Afghan interpreters and others who assisted the Canadian military has landed in Canada, the federal government confirmed this evening. It's the first flight to arrive under a special immigration program to bring in Afghans as government-assisted refugees. Source