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Public consultation starts on alternate Nipigon River crossing

Detour would be used in the event of the closure of Highway 11/17
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Nipigon River
Nipigon River (MTO)

NIPIGON Ont. -- The consulting engineering firm hired by the province to review options for a second crossing over the Nipigon River is about to launch consultations with the public.

WSP Canada Group was commissioned by the Ministry of Transportation to lead the study.

The first Public Information Centre will be held in Nipigon on March 1, 2018.

A notice about the meeting states that it's an opportunity for interested parties "to review and comment on existing conditions, proposed planning alternatives and draft evaluation criteria to select a preferred planning alternative."

In September of 2016, the province first announced its intention to look into options for an emergency detour route over the Nipigon River which could be used in the event of a blockage on Highway 11/17.

This followed the January 2016 closure of the new Nipigon River Bridge after bolts failed in the northwest corner.

The government said at the time that although it was confident in the subsequent retrofit design, it was prudent to plan for any future emergency closure of the highway in that area.

The study limits extend from east of the Highway 11/17 intersection, north of Polly Lake Road on Highway 11, to Nipigon in the south, and Cameron Falls Road (Highway 585) in the west.

The March l session in Nipigon will be set up as a drop-in, open house session.

It will be held at the Nipigon Community Centre between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.