Nipigon River Bridge reopens both lanes to traffic

By Land Line staff | Thursday, February 25, 2016

After more than five weeks of repairs, the Nipigon River Bridge has fully reopened after a catastrophic mechanical failure in January caused the bridge deck to rise more than two feet.

The bridge, which is in the process of being twinned, is the only crossing over the Nipigon River, and provides a vital link in east-west travel for the nation’s Trans-Canada Highway. The bridge reopened at 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

The bridge span has a temporary repair system in place, which will allow traffic to pass through on both lanes while crews continue repair work, according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The bridge remains an active construction zone, and Ontario transportation officials are asking drivers to follow all signs and watch for workers in the area.

The newly constructed Nipigon River Bridge in northern Ontario suffered a mechanical failure on Jan. 10, temporarily closing it completely. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, bolts holding a section of the bridge together snapped off, causing a portion of the bridge to rise roughly two feet. The bridge is in the midst of a $106-million twinning project, the second phase of which has been slated for completion in 2017. 

MTO officials said the average daily traffic on the bridge is roughly 3,500 total vehicles, including approximately 1,300 commercial vehicles, according to 2012 figures.

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