Ontario Ministry of Transportation staff has confirmed that one lane of traffic has reopened on the Nipigon River Bridge.
Traffic flow is alternating between eastward and westward traffic so drivers are reminded to obey signage and flagging operations on site. There will be 24-hour flagging until further notice with a pace vehicle limiting speeds to 25 km/h across the bridge.
Trucks operating above Highway Traffic Act (HTA) limits for weight will not be permitted to cross the bridge at this time. Further updates on weights above HTA limits as it pertains to this issue will be communicated as more details become available.
The bridge has been closed since last night after an expansion joint failed in the cold weather, raising the bridge deck. The Trans-Canada highway shutdown effectively closed travel by road between Eastern and Western Canada.
Authorities still do not have a definite timeline when the bridge will reopen fully. Engineers are working diligently to resolve the issue. However, carriers should expect lengthy delays in the meantime.
For similar events in the future, OTA would like to remind carriers that Canadian carriers are legally able to move Canadian goods in transit through the US provided the carrier is able to supply an eManifest to USCBP, including the value for all shipments on board – something, admittedly, that to date has been the biggest obstacle for Canadian carriers wishing to move in-transit.
As such, the association has contacted USCBP and the Government of Canada to consider temporarily allowing paper in transits without value for the purposes of an emergency contingency. OTA and CTA will apprise members on its discussions with both US, Canadian and provincial authorities on contingency options going forward.
This is a fluid situation, and OTA will update members as further details become available.