Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday July 3 2015
3:55 AM EDT
2014-02-11 at 13:46

CN Rail responds

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

A CN Rail official says they don't want to see a blockade of the James Street Swing Bridge.

"No one wants a blockade," said Lindsay Fedchyshyn, CN Rail regional manager.

"We understand the community's frustration with the bridge being closed but safety remains our number one priority."

At a meeting Monday evening, former Fort William First Nation chief Peter Collins said it was time to consider a blockade of rail traffic over the bridge that's been closed since Oct. 29 after a major fire damaged the structure.

Collins said it was time to take action because the community members are not getting the answers they need on the future of the bridge.

Walter Bannon said at Monday's meeting that businesses on Fort William First Nation are losing a combined $50,000 a day, more than $5.2 million since the suspicious fire closed the bridge.

Fedchyshyn said the engineering team is still working on the assessment of the bridge and consultants are working on it.

"We're expecting the recommendations from that study to be available for our engineers to review within the next month or so," she said, adding the engineers need that study before moving forward with a decision about the bridge's future.

"We do value our relationship with (Chief Georjann Morriseau). I know my colleagues on the team who have been speaking with her are doing their best to keep her updated," said Fedchyshyn.

"There will be ongoing communication."


--with files from CKPR

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swingbridge says:
The whole idea of meeting was to get feedback from those affected - we have received and documented all concerns - we have a meeting with the Minister of Indian Affairs and we have a meeting with CN - mission accomplished
2/13/2014 10:43:18 AM
tbaymom1972 says:
LTL completed repairs to the bridge and expected it to be open before christmas I don't see what is taking so long
2/12/2014 8:02:52 PM
Papercut says:

First of all....it is NOT a merge lane despite what you and some misinformed driver's think....it is a glorified paved shoulder put there by the MTO as a bandaide solution to the problem they are fully aware of: Transport trucks pulling out onto the Hwy 61 at that junction.

The real solution would be very expensive.....another
2/12/2014 2:02:04 PM
sweetazmaple says:
well its been in disrepair for years you should of fixed it than now go and start to fix it than there will be no blockade its simple put some fires in your behinds and move it
2/12/2014 1:35:49 PM
Papercut says:
I DO NOT live on the FWFN.....BUT, I will support their efforts to bring a resolution to this issue which is affecting MANY of us daily.

If I were in charge....I would be lobbying Indian Affairs (FEDS) and Our local Provincial Members of government for a NEW BRIDGE! It ridiculious to rely on a private company's 100+ year old bridge. Build a new one...employ local workers and suppliers...spur the economy.
2/12/2014 11:26:05 AM
jonthunder says:
Safety step one - reduce the speed at the Hwy. 61 Chippewa Rd. intersection area right into the city, and rigorously enforce it to get the message across. Next spring improve the intersection and much longer merge lanes. Surely Ontario is capable of undertaking such measures; don't we have a cabinet minister living right here?
2/12/2014 11:13:41 AM
mystified says:
Yesterdays survey said 65% of the people said they would not support a blockade. We all no that survey is is garbage because people can vote more than once using different devices.
As for putting traffic lights up at Chippewa road. Are you crazy?
Lights on the Trans Canada(so called expressway) are one of the biggest complaints in this town.
If there are any motor vehicle collisions at the intersection of highway 61 and Chippewa rd. it will be no fault of anyone but the parties involved in the collision. It seems that most drivers in this town want to be first inline and will pull out in front of you just to be that idiot.
2/12/2014 9:29:43 AM
DougMyers says:
Easy to say when you do not have to drive through that area twice a day. I am sure if this was happening in your neighbourhood your tune would change.

Why would I have fault when someone else makes a tragic mistake that my family must pay for simply because I have to travel that section of highway?

I am not in favour of traffic lights either but something needs to be done. Much better policing in that area for a while for starters. Second, begin pulling people over that are travelling way below the posted limit. If you are uncomfortable on the highway have someone else drive.

Third, pull people over and ticket them for not using the turning lane and instead slowing and even stopping in the highway right next to the turning lane.

Finally, the MTO should have set up an onramp when the fixed this intersection last year. Instead a curb was built in so that slow moving truck traffic must pull out them back onto the shoulder to get up to speed.
2/12/2014 2:24:09 PM
mystified says:
I live in the city Doug and I live next to one of the busiest residential streets in the McIntyre ward. At times there are 15-20 vehicles lined up waiting to make a left turn onto the main arterial road. Negotiating the correct time to jump into the flow of traffic is compounded by speeding and traffic flowing in both directions.
Doug, we also know that the characteristics of a good lot of Thunder Bay drivers throw a wrench into the fiasco.
2/13/2014 9:15:17 AM
jimbob100 says:
The only reason CN responded was because of the public meeting and just had to say something....Why didn't they attend the meeting if they are so concerned? CN was tired of the constant repairs they made continually made on that bridge while it was opened, People far exceeded speed limits and their metal were constantly being re-bolted on. CN absorbed all those man hour costs and to add a blockade would really undermine their bottomline. In the end, we pay the price. Time for a new up-to-date contract with CN to prevent future delays for similar situations.
2/12/2014 6:41:12 AM
Mastermind says:
Why isn't everyone outraged at Collins. A blockade? Really? Great leadership. Throw anyone who blockades another person's property or City roads in jail. Childish behaviour. Wow.
2/11/2014 6:19:33 PM
S Duncan says:
What makes you think everyone isn't outraged at him?

Maybe they are and youre just not reading about it here?

You're 100% correct though. A blockade should land every single participant in jail for at least 12 months. For leading it? another 36 months!
2/11/2014 10:57:44 PM
NowayJose says:
I agree with S Duncan! The constant whining has to stop.
P.S. Peter your comments have been forwarded to the Fed's so bring it on!
2/12/2014 1:38:51 PM
mikevirtanen1961 says:
It should be noted that he was unseated in the last FWFN election. As such, he's just another voice in the crowd with no official power.
2/12/2014 9:31:16 AM
DougMyers says:
It should be noted that you are incorrect in your statement.

Collins did not run in the last election, thus he was not unseated. He gave up his position by choice.
2/12/2014 2:18:47 PM
udecide says:
" blockade " and we wonder why NEW business refuse to come here LOL. Sickening
2/11/2014 5:28:12 PM
sky high says:
That and the fact that we have a proportionately high population of CANE SHAKERS in this city. And they range from very young to middle aged drudges that can't stand change or municipal pride
2/11/2014 10:10:14 PM
nat_geo says:
"That and the fact that we have a proportionately high population of CANE SHAKERS in this city." said the president of the cane shakers society.
2/12/2014 12:45:04 PM
jethro says:
Id like to see interested parties(fwfn,city of tbay,bowater etc) build another bridge extending syndicate to chippewa rd???? Or from reserve to mkellar island in which transports would have access to main st via island drive bride etc. Im pretty sure this would help business and camps etc on fwfn would thrive. James st bridge still needs to be fixed but having another access thru downtown southcore would benefit eveyone.
2/11/2014 4:11:52 PM
S Duncan says:
If you send traffic via Island drive you're setting up a huge failure.

A bridge is a tool. It I a device that makes a job easier. The city already foolishly set itself up for failure with the Island Drive bridge.

How so? Look closely. In order for traffic to get to the island they have to cross many bridges. First in line is Main St, or Pacific Ave ( which is weight restricted) Then traffic must pass over the Neebing/Mcintyre floodway bridge. Then island drive to Mckellar island, then it has to cross the bridge over the McKellar river to get onto Mission Island.

now you want to add another bridge to that chain to get to FWFN?

If any one of those bridges fails that cuts off everybody. If any of those existing bridges fail we lose access to the fuel/gas supply that's on Mission Island.

The city already foolishly set us up for that problem. Lets not add to that even further.

Now, at the end of Syndicate, you might have something there, but Island Drive?, no way.
2/11/2014 5:07:59 PM
patti says:
Dude, Bowater ?? i'm pretty sure you mean Resolute ~ anyways why on earth would they even spend a nickel for this project ~ seriously
2/11/2014 5:40:54 PM
TBDR says:
Syndicate would be the better of the two options
2/12/2014 3:10:27 PM
jonthunder says:
Fixing or replacing the current bridge for vehicle traffic, short and long term, is going to take time. In the interim, the priority must be the security and safety of all on Hwy 61 in terms of the Reserve, and residents living along Hwy. 61. Each party can and must deal with their own issues, and each must bring them to the table (s) for resolution. Someone must take control of this issue. Would it be the Premier of Ontario who controls Hwy 61, and/or others? To me, there is a clear need for all the parties to meet, discuss and agree upon a process - who will lead this, or abdicate their leadership?
2/11/2014 3:22:32 PM
tsb says:
I was unaware that the Premier herself controls the highway. Wouldn't that be a better job for the MTO?
2/11/2014 5:19:20 PM
passlake says:
so... um, what caused the fire?
2/11/2014 3:14:32 PM
bacon says:
I commend CN for replying so quickly. Hopefully this can be resolved without incident.
2/11/2014 2:30:34 PM
SMB says:
OK, so they've got some consulting engineers doing a stufy that then needs to be reviewed by their staff engineers. Got it.
Though in my personal experience I've rarely seen an engineering study delivered on time. Especially when there is flowing water involved.
2/11/2014 2:00:05 PM
virtualrealityczech says:
"We're expecting the recommendations from that study to be available for our engineers to review within the next month or so,"

Here's a recommendation. Fix the bridge. I am sure if it was the trains were not being able to access the bridge repairs would have commenced forthwith.
2/11/2014 1:59:15 PM
cazam says:
that's a great approach. you must have spent 4-years in university and 4-years as an EIT to be able to make such an assessment. how about we let the Professional Engineers do their job so that nobody gets injured or killed. for anyone who has ever done anything remotely related to repairing the damage that a fire has caused would know, it is better to be thorough than hasty.
2/11/2014 4:34:23 PM
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