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

  • Rivers keep swelling in France, disrupting public transportation

    World News CTV News
    PARIS - Rivers across France are still swelling despite some improvement in the weather, disrupting train services and metro lines in Paris. Meteo France, the national weather agency, placed 23 departments on orange alert, the second highest level of vigilance. Source
  • 'People just ran': Kentucky students fled for lives in fatal shooting

    World News CTV News
    BENTON, Ky. - They ran silently, too stunned to shout. Some of the children ran into classrooms to hide from the boy with the gun. Some ran out of the building, into the fields, across the streets, through the doors of nearby businesses. Source
  • Tempers flare as B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Tempers flared at the B.C. Liberal leadership debate in Vancouver as veterans butted heads over the future of the party with newer faces calling for change. Former cabinet ministers Mike de Jong, Andrew Wilkinson and Todd Stone faced off against backbenchers Sam Sullivan and Michael Lee, as well as former Surrey mayor and Conservative member of Parliament Dianne Watts. Source
  • Insurgents attack children's group in eastern Afghanistan

    World News CTV News
    KABUL - A group of gunmen stormed a non-governmental children's organization in eastern Nangarhar province, killing one person, said provincial officials. Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the Wednesday attack was against Save the Children's provincial office in Jalalabad. Source
  • California prosecutors seek to bar parents from contacting 13 kids kept captive

    World News CTV News
    Louise Anna Turpin, far left, with attorney Jeff Moore, second from left, and her husband David Allen Turpin, listen to attorney, David Macher, as they appear in court for their arraignment in Riverside, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Source
  • Puerto Rico awaits foreclosure wave as mortgage moratoriums expire

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Aylsa Torres sighed in relief when she received a letter from her bank two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit. She was among the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans awarded a three-month moratorium on their mortgage payments as the U.S. Source
  • Philippine volcano spreads lava three kilometres from crater

    World News CTV News
    LEGAZPI, Philippines - Lava fountaining regularly from the Philippines' most active volcano has flowed up to 3 kilometres from the crater in a dazzling but increasingly dangerous eruption. Mount Mayon has spewed lava up to 600 metres high at times Tuesday and early Wednesday and its ash plumes stretched up to 5 kilometres above the crater. Source
  • Activists rip Kim Jong Un's photo in Olympic protest

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Anti-Pyongyang activists on Wednesday ripped photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the latest protests in Seoul against South Korea's outreach to North Korea over next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Source
  • D.C. sniper requests hearing to ask for lower sentence

    World News CTV News
    RICHMOND, Va. - A sniper who randomly killed 10 people and terrorized the Washington, D.C., region more than 15 years ago is entitled to a new hearing to ask for a lighter sentence, his lawyer argued Tuesday to a federal appeals court. Source
  • Calgary skydiver killed in California after crash onto roof of home

    World News CBC News
    Authorities have identified a skydiver who died Monday afternoon when he fell onto the roof of a home in Southern California. The Riverside County coroner's bureau says the victim was Aime-Jean St. Hilaire-Adam, a 27-year-old from Calgary. Source