Investigation continues as Nipigon bridge inches back into full service

PEO is continuing its lengthy registrar’s investigation into engineering work associated with the January 10, 2016 failure of the newly-opened Nipigon River Bridge.

Opened to traffic in late 2015, the cable-stayed bridge was forced to close after two months of service when part of the bridge deck separated from the road surface. The bridge was partially opened to traffic within days after the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) undertook emergency repairs.

PEO launched a registrar’s investigation of the failure in October 2016. A registrar’s investigation is based on reasonable and probable grounds that a licence holder and/or certificate of authorization holder has committed an act of professional misconduct or incompetence, and is kept confidential until further action is required.

Meanwhile, the transportation ministry continues work to bring the Nipigon bridge back into full service.

Annemarie Piscopo, spokesperson for the MTO’s northwestern region, told Engineering Dimensions the ministry intends to open all four lanes to traffic before the end of this year. “Work is continuing on erecting the eastbound lanes, and the contractor has completed installation of a permanent retrofit to correct the structural malfunction that caused the bridge to separate from its abutment in January 2016,” she said.

The reasons for the failure have been determined and two independent reports have been released to the public:

“Our focus remains on working with the contractor to explore ways to advance the schedule, while completing the bridge safely and efficiently,” Piscopo added.