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Thunder Bay Bridge Reopens after Five-Year Legal Battle

Thunder Bay Bridge Reopens after Five-Year Legal Battle

Updated: November 08, 2019 05:59 PM

A bridge connecting the Fort William First Nation to Thunder Bay is set to open Saturday after a six-year closure.

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The October 13 fire at the James Street Swing Bridge was followed by years of litigation between the City of Thunder Bay and Canadian National over who should pay for repairs.  Ultimately, the courts decided that a 1906 agreement required CN to make the repairs.

"We are pleased to see this important connection between Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation finally reopened," said Mayor Bill Mauro in a news release. "We recognize the challenges and frustrations citizens from both communities have faced without this access point."

The closure forced residents of Fort William First Nation to take a longer route along Highway 61 to cross the Kaministiqua River and reach the city.

"I would like to thank CN for collaborating with our community to reopen the bridge," said Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins in a news release issued by CN. "For our community, this bridge is an important link with Thunder Bay and having it reopened is key to economic benefits and access to services."

The city has widened its roadway approaches to the bridge, and CN added a protection barrier between the roadway and sidewalk.

CN said the bridge's speed limit will remain 20 kph with a load restriction of 15,000 kg.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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