Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday July 3 2015
6:01 PM EDT
2014-07-03 at 16:38


CN says they will respond to the city and FWFN
Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
CN says they will respond to the city and FWFN's counter-proposal on reopening the James Street Swing Bridge on Monday.
By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY - The city and Fort William First Nation have to wait until Monday to find out if CN will accept their proposal to reopen the James Street Swing Bridge.

CN presented a proposal to open the bridge in the short-term to vehicle traffic and the city and Fort William First nation made a counter-proposal Thursday afternoon at city hall.

CN’s vice-president of corporate services Olivier Chouc said he’s taking it back to the railway and will bring a response to council by end of the business day next Monday.

“It was a good discussion. It is a positive dialogue and I’m hopeful we’re going to be able to resolve our differences in the short-term,” he said.

Any costs or repair work necessary to reopen the bridge will remain confidential while talks are still underway, an agreement made by all three parties.

Westfort Coun. and intergovernmental liaison committee chairman Joe Virdiramo said the reason for the confidentiality is because of issues of legality.

He also said he has no idea when the bridge could be reopened, but he hopes it will be within the next few months.

But it depends on CN’s response to the proposal.

“If everything goes well in the response, we will take that response and the proposal to council on July 21,” said Virdiramo, noting that all financial matters need to go before council.
“We’ll just see how things roll out,” he said.

Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau said any talk around contributing money to the bridge is warranted at a later date and the community hasn’t begun to consider those options yet.

“I believe that there is still a 1906 agreement in place and I think it needs to be adhered to and I think CN has full legal authority and obligation to that 1906 agreement and they are still legally responsible for their bridge,” she said.

“This is not the city’s bridge and it’s not Fort William First Nation’s bridge. It’s CN’s bridge.”

Morriseau added she doesn’t see why CN wouldn’t want to reopen the James Street Swing Bridge.
“I am hopeful in the sense that we put very sound arguments forward and that the bridge ought to be opened,” she said.

“Whether CN acknowledges those options and whether CN acknowledges their legal duties and obligations to the original agreement to open that bridge, it’s up to them.”

The James Street Swing Bridge has been closed to vehicles for 246 days since a fire severely damaged the structure.


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Bob Roberts says:
I'm smelling another Special Reserve Fund dipsy doodle from City Hall. Here you go CN some additional Funds to help in repairing this old dilapidated relic (Not designed for Vehicle Traffic). Maybe a new car and pedestrian bridge is needed. The Rail bridge is not a Solution for the long term. Maybe a Toll will be needed on a new bridge to offset cost.
7/7/2014 11:01:50 AM
Royalflush says:
What a bunch of armchair lawyers! I'm glad none of you are practicing law.
Georjann has it right. The 1906 agreement is as valid today as it was the day it was signed.
7/4/2014 10:29:54 PM
dank says:
We in the south ward are stuck with a rising tax bill for some ill thoughout event center. We have the right to demand that the bridge be repaired and opened!
7/4/2014 1:00:56 PM
Arch Stanton says:
Time for a completely new road bridge with a $1 toll. Stick in high-speed barriers with an automated toll bucket and we're all set.

We'll save more than that on the shredded tires the current borken road deck causes and the diversionary drives over to Hwy 61.

7/4/2014 10:11:36 AM
qwertyqwerty says:
chief has it right, its not the fwfn's bridge nor is it the cities. The reserve already has an access point that is maybe 5-7mins longer. Why should the tax payers have to filp the bill. if the reserve wants it that bad then they can hash it out with cn (THIS IS NOT THE CITIES OR THE TAXPAYERS PROBLEM) If hobbs wants this bridge that bad to help with election campaign then why does he just flip the bill himself from his own personal bank account. our taxes are always going up and the services we recieve from this city keep getting worst....
7/4/2014 10:01:54 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
She doesn't see why CN doesn't open the bridge. Maybe because of the maintenance, people speeding over it, the trains go over just fine, no real reason for them to open it to car traffic.
If FN isn't going to pay for it, I'm getting the drift that the city will pay for it and I think that is wrong. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Since everything is hush hush for now.
7/4/2014 8:54:40 AM
codvx87 says:
You are hoping they will reach an agreement with you, and you insult them with a legality from 1906? Georjann isn't a very smart woman.
7/4/2014 1:09:36 AM
moi says:
No...the chief is a hypocrite. She's not above stooping to the same tactics that she apparently has much disdain for. She's a good politician...
7/4/2014 5:21:15 PM
ranma says:
No taxpayers dollars should be used to open this bridge. If they are used, then it sets a bad precdent for other bridges that have ancient contracts. It would mean that the railway would be able to download the maintenance of other bridges onto other cities.

CN should be paying to fix this bridge.
7/4/2014 12:44:54 AM
favpal says:
Well something needs to be done...what if that tragic accident on Chippewa rd had been half a km down the road the whole reserve would have been cut off from the city....as a citizen of the city of thunder bay I am concerned for elders and the ill and any future tragedies god forbid the fend ppl were unable to get necessary medical services at all...even if its just a medical uses purposes only bridge the ppl need access at 2 points
7/3/2014 11:13:47 PM
JAR says:
And what if that tragic accident happened on McKellar Island? There is only 1 bridge that allows people to come and go from there. Should we be after the CN to reinstate the Jack Knife Bridge? Your arguement is invalid.
7/4/2014 10:19:28 AM
Commonsense says:
Chief Morriseau has it right.
It's not the city's bridge, it's not FWFN's bridge.
It's CN's bridge.
There is an agreement.
They need to uphold that agreement.
They're stalling, waiting for City and FWFN, province, somebody else, to pay.
7/3/2014 10:49:01 PM
jonthunder says:
What are the city of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation contributing? Tax Payers footing the bill have a right to know, and to have the opportunity to voice their opinion before the cheques are cut. This is a far cry from the railway is 100% responsible to the taxpayers subsidizing other parties.....
7/3/2014 10:12:16 PM
damanisback says:
There is another way there.5 mins longer.
boo who.
The whiners probably want a brand new double lane bridge. watch what you doing or c.n will put a toll bridge up there to teach you a lesson
7/3/2014 8:56:34 PM
Kam River says:
This CN bridge is the property of CNRail. The City of Thunder Bay should not be spend any money repairing this bridge.
There is a perfectly good bridge on highway 61.
There already has been too much city of Thunder Bay staff time spend on this
and the city should not be spend money on consultant
It is a issue between Fort William First Nation and the CN Rail.
Please Hobbs stop wasting our money.
7/3/2014 6:12:55 PM
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