Only Way to Drive Across Canada Failed Sunday

The Nipigon River Bridge was closed after it 'heaved apart'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2016 9:00 AM CST
Traffic headache.   (Google Maps)

(Newser) – As far as detours go, it's a weird one: The Canadian Press reports that the only way to drive across northern Ontario Sunday night was via the US. This after the two-month-old Nipigon River Bridge—which is part of the Trans-Canada Highway and is the sole way to get from Eastern Canada to Western—"heaved apart," as the CBC puts it, preventing traffic from crossing as of Sunday afternoon. (See a photo here.) "This is the one place in Canada where there is only one road, one bridge across the country," says Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey. The CBC reports a portion of the bridge's decking had raised roughly 2 feet; a single lane was able to be opened this morning.

As for the cause, engineers are trying to establish it. For now, "nobody really knows what happened," says Harvey. One witness describes what she saw to the CBC: "As we turned [onto the highway], we saw the whole bridge—a kind of big gust of wind came underneath it and blew it up and then it came back down." The Ontario Ministry of Transportation expects to have a sense of a repair timeline later Monday. (Read more Canada stories.)

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