Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
THUNDER BAY - An option to get the James Street swing bridge open will be on the table Thursday, but what it will look like and who will pay for it has yet to be seen.
It's now been more than 245 days since a fire closed the bridge to vehicle traffic last October.
Company officials met with the city and Fort William First Nation at Thunder Bay city hall last month with a promise to have short-term solutions to get the bridge re-opened. Mayor Keith Hobbs had a conference call with the company Wednesday morning and engineers on both sides and Fort William First Nation will meet face-to-face Thursday.
"We're hoping for progress. We're getting signs there's going to be an offer made to move this forward," Hobbs said. "This has gone on long enough."
Options were expected earlier but CN told Hobbs that engineers were taking their time to make sure the solution is safe for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Hobbs said because CN owns the bridge, the company is in the driver's seat.
"Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation kind of have our backs to the wall because it's not our bridge," he said.
Hobbs said cost will be a big issue when they sit down at city hall Thursday. It's not clear whether CN will pick up the tab or costs will be shared. Still, he remains confident that a short-term solution will be reached after the meeting.