If you had plans to travel West to Alberta via the Trans-Canada Highway, you’ll have to add an hours-long detour through the United States to get to your destination.
The Nipigon River Bridge on Highway 11/17 has experienced what experts are calling a mechanical failure.
On Sunday, the west side of the bridge actually pulled away from the abutment/section joining it to the river bank, and it now sits 60 centimetres higher.
Dorion, Ontario resident tells media that she witnessed the gust of wind that drifted underneath the bridge and lifted it up.
The Ontario municipality of Greenstone has declared a state of emergency.
Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation and Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey indicate that the bridge will be closed for at least a few days, meaning that the only real route between Canada’s two halves has been severed.
The bridge is still undergoing a $106-million rebuild, and was originally slated to be completed in 2017.
For a few hours after the accident, police were detouring traffic – through the United States! That will pose a problem for Canadian drivers with some past criminal experiences on their personal record.
UPDATE: Officials have reopened one lane across the bridge Monday. An expansion joint failed thanks to extreme cold.