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

  • 'They were flying like skittles'; 4 killed, 15 hurt after car plows through pedestrians in Melbourne

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — One person was killed and several others were seriously injured after a car plowed into pedestrians in Australia’s second-largest city on Friday, prompting a major police operation as officials told the public to stay away from the area. Source
  • Royal Navy removes Second World War bomb from River Thames in London

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's Royal Navy has removed a suspected Second World War bomb whose discovery in the River Thames shut down a chunk of central London. The Metropolitan Police force says that officers were called Thursday afternoon "to reports of suspected [Second World War] ordnance in the river" near the Houses of Parliament. Source
  • 4 killed, 20 injured, when car drives into crowd in Melbourne, Australia

    World News CBC News
    A man deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing four and injuring more than 20, in the centre of Australia's second largest city of Melbourne on Friday, but police said the incident was not terrorism-related. Police eventually rammed the car and shot the 26-year-old driver in the arm, before dragging him from the vehicle and arresting him. Source
  • Pilot certified 21 days before Lake Erie plane crash : NTSB

    World News CTV News
    CLEVELAND -- The pilot of a plane that crashed into Lake Erie last month received his certification to fly that type of aircraft just 21 days before the fatal crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report. Source
  • Activists and celebrities band together to protest Donald Trump's inauguration

    World News CTV News
    January 20, 2017 will mark a historic day in American politics and presidency. The swearing in of a new president is a memorable event unto itself. But in the case of president-elect Donald Trump, January 21 might be stealing the spotlight. Source
  • Trump warned about security of his Android phone

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - A few hours after President-elect Donald Trump was briefed by intelligence officials about Russian meddling in the election, an Associated Press reporter called his cellphone seeking an interview. The call went to voicemail and the reporter did not leave a message. Source
  • Last chance for former Gambian president to leave on his own

    World News CBC News
    Gambia's defeated president Yahya Jammeh must cede power by noon Friday or he will be dislodged by a regional force that has already moved into the country, West African officials said. If Jammeh refuses to leave Gambia by midday the regional troops will force him out, said Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman of the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS. Source
  • Gambian leader told to cede power after lost election, or be forced out

    World News CTV News
    BANJUL, Gambia -- The leaders of Guinea and Mauritania arrived in Gambia's capital Friday in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to get defeated President Yahya Jammeh to cede power, while a regional military force was awaiting orders to act. Source
  • ISIS destroys Roman monument in Palmyra

    World News CBC News
    Islamic State group militants destroyed a landmark ancient Roman monument and parts of the theatre in Syria's historic town of Palmyra, the government and opposition monitoring groups said Friday. Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of Syria's antiquities department, said the militants destroyed the facade of the second-century theatre along with the Tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument that sits in the middle of the colonnade road that leads to the theatre. Source
  • ISIS militants destroyed Roman theatre in Palmyra, Syria says

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT - Islamic State group militants destroyed a landmark ancient Roman monument and parts of the theatre in Syria's historic town of Palmyra, the government and opposition monitoring groups said Friday. Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of Syria's antiquities department, said the militants destroyed the facade of the second-century theatre along with the Tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument that sits in the middle of the colonnade road that leads to the theatre. Source