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BRIDGE COLLAPSES - May 7, 2004



Thanks to several who alerted me of the collapse and sent in pictures!

Big Nickel Mine Road bridge collapses

BY CRAIG GILBERT
craig@northernlife.ca

 
photos by Tracey Duguay

 
The Big Nickel Mine Road bridge collapsed onto Lorne Street at about 10 am this morning.

 
It has been closed for repairs and upgrades since March.
Traffic will be rerouted around the scene for some time, according to the Greater Sudbury Police Service.  Westbound Lorne St. traffic will be rerouted through Kelly Lake Rd. to Southview Drive to the southwest by-pass and on to Walden.  Eastbound Municipal Road 55 traffic heading toward Lorne St. will have to take Godfrey Dr. through Copper Cliff as there is no passage from that direction at the Big Nickel Mine Rd. over-pass.  Godfrey Dr. is owned by Inco and drivers are warned to slow down and watch for heavy truck traffic.

 
“Inco is assisting the public by allowing the increased traffic flow, however, already there have been incidents of excessive speed in the area,” police reported at noon. 
Traffic on Big Nickel Mine Rd. traveling toward Lorne St. can use the east or west ramps.

 
Drivers otherwise travelling toward the area are urged to stay clear and take the southeast or southwest bypasses.  “It will be several days before things are close to back to order so please show patience and common sense,” police said.

 
Northland Engineering (1987) Ltd. is the consulting engineering firm responsible for designing and supervising the project on behalf of the city. 
Nor-Eng Construction & Engineering is responsible for the restoration work. The bridge has been closed for upgrades since March.

 
The Ministry of Labour had investigators on the scene, which was closed completely early Friday afternoon.  Northland Engineering employee Mark Akehurst has been in construction for over 20 years.   He was up the hill toward Dynamic Earth, which is not affected by the collapse, when the bridge collapsed.  He has never seen anything like it.

 
“The bridge wasn't connected at all to the concrete,” he said. “It was supported completely by those steel beams. We were repairing the girder ends at the time. The steel on the south side failed.”

 
No one was near the work area when the bridge collapsed. 
“There was a rumble then a cloud of dust. It happened very, very quick.”

 

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