Thursday, January 14, 2016

New $ 106m Nipigon River Bridge splits in two - Update

A multimillion-dollar bridge offering the sole east-west route across part of northern Ontario was partially reopened Monday after sustaining serious damage over the weekend. One lane was available to cars and regular-weight transport trucks. Engineers were still stopping oversized trucks.

The recently-opened Nipigon River Bridge is the most expensive bridge ever built in Ontario. Approximately 1,300 trucks cross the bridge carrying an estimated $100 million worth of goods each day. "It connects the east to the west, and there is only that one route," Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters on Monday.

It has been reported the bridge's bearings and expansion joints, made in China, are now being monitored 24/7
A high-ranking official with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation says the bolts holding together a section of the new Nipigon Bridge snapped off, causing a portion of the bridge to rise about 60 centimetres.
The Nipigon River Bridge has partially reopened, after a major mechanical failure forced its closure Sunday, essentially cutting Canada in two. The link, part of the Trans-Canada Highway, split during a period of intense cold Sunday, raising parts of its surface 60 cm, making it impassable to vehicles.

Ontario's transportation ministry has dispatched engineers to the region to assess the damage. The closure temporarily shut down the only link between eastern and western Canada, stranding some travellers and forcing others to take a detour through the United States.
The mechanical failure comes shortly after the bridge reopened amidst a twinning project costing $106 million. Two westbound lanes opened on November 29, 2015.

Hatch Mott MacDonald provided construction administration and technical oversight of the bridge, Ontario's first cable-stayed bridge.