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

  • Autopsy: California's 'I-5 Strangler' was strangled himself

    World News CTV News
    IONE, CALIF -- A California serial killer who authorities say strangled and raped at least seven women was fatally choked himself in a state prison, officials said Wednesday. Roger Reece Kibbe, 81, known as the "I-5 Strangler" in the 1970s and 1980s, was spotted unresponsive Sunday in his cell at Mule Creek State Prison southeast of Sacramento -- his 40-year-old cellmate standing nearby. Source
  • U.K. police rule out criminal inquiry into 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- British police said on Thursday they had ruled out a criminal investigation into the famous 1995 BBC interview with the late Diana, Princess of Wales after complaints from her brother that she had been tricked into taking part with the use of forged documents. Source
  • WHO says most African countries to begin vaccination drives by end of March

    World News CBC News
    Most African countries will kick-start their COVID-19 vaccination programs by the end of March as efforts to procure doses for the continent's 1.3 billion people gather pace, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. The world's poorest continent faces logistical and financial obstacles to securing all the vaccines it needs, but the WHO-led COVAX facility has begun to bear fruit. Source
  • Analysts see Canada's new push for permanent residents as a short-term solution

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada's recent move to offer permanent residency to more foreigners living and working in the country is a short-term solution to the economic problems spurred by a pandemic-related immigration slowdown, analysts say, while critics argue the strategy excludes too many vulnerable people. Source
  • Brutal crackdown widely filmed but Myanmar protests carry on

    World News CTV News
    Footage of Myanmar security forces chasing down demonstrators protesting a coup, shooting a civilian at point-blank range and savagely beating others have revealed the extent of a brutal crackdown that saw 38 people shot and killed in a single day. Source
  • 1,500 of nearly 1.1M COVID-19 vaccine doses wasted in Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario wasted 1,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during its three-month long inoculation campaign, CTV News Toronto has learned, despite an effort to avoid vaccine wastage. Data provided by the Ministry of Health shows approximately 1,100 of 871,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (0.1 per cent) and 400 of 220,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine (0.2 per cent) went to waste between Dec. Source
  • 17,000 earthquakes hit Iceland in the past week. An eruption could be imminent

    World News CTV News
    Even for a volcanic island accustomed to the occasional tremor, this has been an unusual week for Iceland. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, around 17,000 earthquakes have hit the southwestern region of Reykjanes over the past week. Source
  • Chaos as freed Nigerian schoolgirls reunited with families

    World News CTV News
    JANGEBE, NIGERIA -- Hundreds of Nigerian girls abducted last week from a boarding school in the country's northwest have been returned to their families amid chaos as security forces opened fire on a gathering outside the school where the reunions were held Wednesday. Source
  • Feds on high alert Thursday after warnings about potential threats to U.S. Capitol

    World News CTV News
    Federal law enforcement is on high alert Thursday in the wake of an intelligence bulletin issued earlier this week about a group of violent militia extremists having discussed plans to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about March 4 -- a date when some conspiracy theorists believe former U.S. Source
  • Buckingham Palace says Prince Philip has had a successful heart procedure

    World News CBC News
    Prince Philip has had a successful heart procedure at a London hospital, Buckingham Palace said Thursday. The palace says the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, "underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Source