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

  • Global pushback against autocrats grows, says rights watchdog

    World News CBC News
    The world is seeing growing resistance against the abuses of autocrats as states, civic groups and popular movements all push back against populists seeking to curtail freedoms, according to a new global report released Thursday that also outlines where Canada is both advancing and falling short in its efforts. Source
  • New Hampshire toddler escapes home, found dead in freezing temperatures

    World News CTV News
    NEWPORT, N.H. -- A New Hampshire toddler, barefoot and clad only in a nightgown, was found dead early Monday in bitter cold weather just feet from her front door after she managed to get out of her house and couldn't get back in. Source
  • 3 young children die after getting trapped in chest freezer

    World News CTV News
    LIVE OAK, Fla. - Authorities in Florida say three young children playing outside climbed into an unplugged chest freezer and died when they couldn't get out. The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office says the children, ages 1, 4, and 6, couldn't be revived when they were found Sunday at a home in Live Oak in north Florida. Source
  • Kenya still hunts for explosives after deadly hotel attack

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, Kenya -- Kenyan bomb disposal experts on Thursday searched for explosives left over from the deadly extremist attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex in which 21 people, plus five attackers, were killed. The Kenyan government said its quick reaction to Tuesday's assault on the DusitD2 complex reflected improvements in its ability to respond to such brazen assaults on civilian targets. Source
  • Strong explosion, fire hits French university building

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- A strong explosion and fire hit a science building undergoing repairs at the University of Lyon on Thursday, injuring three people slightly, French officials said. The area was evacuated after the explosion on the roof of the building Thursday morning, and the regional fire service said the blaze was under control soon afterward. Source
  • Human Rights Watch: Global pushback against autocrats grows

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- The world is seeing growing resistance against the abuses of autocrats as states, civic groups and popular movements all push back against populists who are seeking to curtail freedoms, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. Source
  • U.S. alarmed as Zimbabwe targets, beats activists amid unrest

    World News CTV News
    HARARE, Zimbabwe -- The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe said Thursday it is "alarmed" by credible reports that security forces are targeting and beating activists and labour leaders after a local doctors' rights group said it had treated 68 gunshot cases and scores of other cases of assault. Source
  • China hits back at criticism of its detention of Canadians

    Canada News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China minced no words on Thursday as it rejected an accusation by Canada's foreign minister that its detentions of Canadians pose a threat to all countries. "I think your foreign minister may be in a hurry, and can't help speaking without thinking," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in response to a question from a Canadian journalist. Source
  • China hits back at Freeland's criticism of detention of Canadians

    Canada News CTV News
    BEIJING, China - China is rebuffing the latest broadside from Canada over its detention of Canadian citizens, rejecting the assertion that China's behaviour poses a threat to all nations. Instead, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said today that people from China could be at risk following Canada's detention of a Chinese telecom executive for "no reason. Source
  • Yemeni group: Houthi rebels hold, torture female detainees

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- Yemen's Houthi rebels hold dozens of women without bringing them to trial or charging them with a crime, often torturing the detainees and blackmailing their families, activists said on Thursday. The allegations were first raised over the weekend by the Yemen Organization for Combating Human Trafficking, based in the capital, Sanaa. Source