Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
1:20 AM EDT
2014-06-27 at 16:48

Waiting for answers

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Nearly a month after a meeting with CN over the future of the James Street Swing Bridge, city hall is still waiting.

CN, city and Fort William First Nation emerged from a meeting late last month saying that a short-term solution to re-open the bridge to vehicle traffic, closed since a fire last October despite rail traffic starting again just days after the incident, could come in as little as two weeks.

An engineering report was expected to come Friday, but acting mayor Coun. Rebecca Johnson said there has still been no word.

"We hope that it will come next week," Johnson said. "There has been no communication with CN relative to the bridge at all. We're a little bit disappointed."

Next week is also the timeline now according to CN spokeswoman Lindsay Fedchyshyn. Johnson said the company just needs to do its due diligence to make sure the bridge is safe.

"They will make sure that that is in place before they can say that they can open it," she said.

Safety is key but Johnson said people in the community want the issue resolved.

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lori says:
Anyone want to build this bridge instead of an event centre. How did people get there before the bridge was built.

For safety reasons I can see why the bridge is important but is it the responsibility of the city of T.Bay to ensure there is a bridge to FWFN. Anyone have an answer. I would be interested.

Has anyone priced out what a vehicle bridge would cost?

I know many want the bridge opened but what legal requirement exists that forces CN to do it and if there was legal justification, then in my view, the city is dropping the ball but not taking legal action. This makes no sense.

If CN is legally obligated to maintain the bridge forever, then take them to court.

IF they are not, then tell us so we can move beyond discussing something that doesn't exist.

Is there no one in this city who can just provide us with straight answers to pretty simple questions. Dear Mayor, if CN is legally responsible why has the city not gone to court in partnership with FWFN. We would like an answer
6/29/2014 8:52:09 PM
DWB says:
Mayor Hobbs said his lawyers said we stood on good legal grounds to have the bridge open. Maybe we need a new Mayor.
6/29/2014 11:24:29 AM
Stephen says:
oh for goodness sake! Just build another bridge; get it over with. It would be a a great make-work project. If we asked nicely, we could probably get
bank from the province.
6/28/2014 11:35:15 PM
passlake says:
There is access to that side of the river.

Why we are wasting time trying to pressure CN is beyond me... we have more important issues to deal with. Read any other of the numerous headlines on this site and you'll see what I mean,
6/28/2014 1:23:20 PM
Tiredofit says:
In my opinion, they (CNR) have an obligation to maintain the bridge based on the agreements in place (from what i've read). If it's not good enough for car and foot traffic, then simply close the entire thing down or perhaps block off the rail access.

Watch how fast it gets fixed then. But sadly, we will have to get to that point and then off course all of the FN - Haters will be out in full force complaining about them blocking access, of course then it will also have an impact on the Elevators and heaven forbid we affect the non-FN workers there.

As some one who is nearly clipped daily by the drivers flying out onto HWY 61, I'm in full support of getting it fixed (and no, the bulk of the drivers flying out AREN'T FN either). Apparently it's too costly for the MTO/City to install a flip'n STOP sign instead of a YEILD sign at the intersection.

Only until someone is tragically hurt or killed at that intersection will something be done.
6/28/2014 12:04:43 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
Have the police of FN Police ever caught who burned the bridge? Why is that not in the news? Is there a reward for anybody knowing who did it?
6/28/2014 11:58:18 AM
outofgas says:
Not sure what city election has to do with it. They can put all the pressure they want, sort of like the church's pressure. CN will do it when they want to get it done.
6/28/2014 9:50:48 AM
Xquisiteroughpatch says:
Perhaps I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the reason the rail portion is safe because it's mostly made up of metal, whereas the vehicle portion is made up with a lot of wood. If that is the case, how is the bridge going to be made temporarily safer? How do you make a burnt wood bridge safe again?

That bridge gave me anxiety driving over before. I think I may just continue to take the long way around.
6/28/2014 9:04:55 AM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
Prediction: it will open, traffic lights with 1 vehicle crossing at a time.
6/28/2014 6:20:02 AM
JYDOG says:
The city would try to hit-up the province and feds for the money for signal light.
6/29/2014 5:16:10 AM
j_northey says:
Clearly CN has no interest in ever opening it. Well past time for the city to get together with the province and feds to plan a real bridge that cars and people can cross without fear of it falling apart (I worried everytime I used that bridge).
6/27/2014 9:01:43 PM
City In Decline says:
Anyone who thinks that meeting was anything other than CN offering lip service is in severe denial. Keep it closed. As many other have said on here, if the city wants a bridge, they can build it themselves. CN couldn't care less about rebuilding this bridge. Typical Thunder Bay..it's takes longer to drive around so I hate it because I'm in a rush to get nowhere.
6/27/2014 8:39:34 PM
enos012 says:
Time when driving is gas $$$ and causes more pollution. Do you live out there and commute to work everyday? Let me us find your route and have you take a longer route everyday and tell us how you like? Do you think people just complain for the sake of it or with reasoning behind that doesn't just include your life.
6/28/2014 10:54:15 AM
JYDOG says:
If you're that worried about pollution you should be riding a bike. Highway 61 is the ideal route in a car, this swing bridge fantasy needs to end already.
6/28/2014 11:59:50 PM
enos012 says:
What does my view on the extra pollution have to with ME riding a bike? The bridge closure dosen't affect me personally. Do you expect people from there to bike across town in all the elemnts of weather to get to work? Yes it makes sense for people to drive all the way around when they could be across in 2 minutes. You think the elderly enjoy the drive out on the highway? How many collisions since this started has been made mention off? What will it take? A friend or family to parish in an accident?
6/29/2014 11:50:08 AM
JYDOG says:
Good Question Enos.
How many collisions have happened since the bridge closed?
One? Two? Likely the same as every other busy intersection, but it's certainly no epidemic, and no fatal or serious incidents. One could rightly ascert that since it's now such a busy turn, it's one of the safest intersections in the city. Perhaps the city should release that data since there seems to be a gross misunderstanding. Since there have hardly been any problems, what's all the fuss about?
6/29/2014 1:13:16 PM
unknowncronik says:

whats to complain about? we live in a town that we can get across town in 10 minutes regardless of the time!

the bridge is no longer useable for vehicle traffic & NOT worth the monies to rebuild it!

if its so important to the FWFN, then let them build a new, safer bridge if they are that concerned...

6/29/2014 6:19:12 AM
hubbabubba says:
Seriously?? I wouldn't cross that bridge if you paid me a million dollars... not worth the risk. Anyone who is idiotic to think that it is safe after a major fire like it was, go right ahead...
6/27/2014 7:57:42 PM
humnchuck says:
You have noticed those lightweight rail cars and locomotives cross it multiple times a day, right?
6/28/2014 7:10:03 AM
eventscentre says:
Better keep it closed because the idiots who set it on fire are probably just waiting for another chance to cause mayhem. It's like when someone slashes your tires...the culprit waits till you get new ones and then comes back to make you miserable again
6/27/2014 7:01:43 PM
humnchuck says:
What if it wasn't arson?
6/28/2014 7:11:16 AM
JYDOG says:
Fear monger much? Sorry eventcenter pusher, but it was never proven that it was arson, so what are you on about?
6/28/2014 12:03:17 PM
tsx says:
Can hardly wait for the city election in the fall, I'm thinking its time for a change !!
6/27/2014 6:26:18 PM
NowayJose says:
All day, every day, we hear about the bridge.
It may be safe, maybe not…
Let CN decide.
The past posts (he said, she said) are getting tiresome.
My opinion, those who want and/or need a bridge, then do so.
Not on my dime!
6/27/2014 6:03:13 PM
TBAY opinion says:
So in your opinion public infrastructure for any single project should only be funded by those who use it ?

The bridge over the Kam represents a vital link between the FWFN community and the city. It is time that both the Province and the Federal Government stepped up and constructed a proper vehicular and pedestrian bridge over the river.. The province because they are in charge of roads, and the Feds because it involves First Nations.

Until then we will have to depend on CN's bridge . But that should now be viewed as a stop gap measure only. A new bridge is needed eventually. the sooner the better.
6/28/2014 8:13:12 AM
yqt says:
Your "vital" link has already been provided, it's on Hwy 61. Try it, it works just fine.
6/29/2014 3:46:10 AM
JYDOG says:
This bridge is a want, not a need. There's already a totally viable link to this area, and it's selfish to insist upon another.
6/29/2014 10:55:31 AM
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