Fort William First Nation Public Meeting

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The James Street Bridge remains closed to train, vehicle and pedestrian traffic
The James Street Bridge remains closed to vehicle traffic

The James Street Bridge remains closed to train, vehicle and pedestrian traffic
The James Street Bridge remains closed to train, vehicle and pedestrian traffic

Closure of James Street Bridge Concerns FWFN

FORT WILLIAM FN – Business – Fort William First Nation is expressing sincere concern over the continued closure of the James Street swing bridge. The community feels that further on-going delays in discussion are now becoming more detrimental to the health and safety of both pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

Time delays go far beyond what has been estimated by emergency services. Both fire and ambulance service are now hindered by these time delays which at times be anywhere up to 20 minutes during rush hour. This concern along with the concern over the lack of street lighting along Chippewa road has been discussed with City of Thunder Bay officials.

CN Train loaded with lumber stuck on the south side of the tracks.
CN Train loaded with lumber stuck on the south side of the tracks.

CN Not Acting Since Opening Bridge to Trains

Fort William First Nation states, “In our discussions with CN, they have made it clear that they must wait for their final engineer’s report to be presented in order to determine what course of action, if any will take place with the restoration of the damage that the bridge sustained. The time frame identified by CN is drawing near and have yet to hear from CN on this matter”.

In a press statement, FWFN states, “This is certainly a matter that goes beyond simply interfering with the convenience of access. There are businesses here in the community, and within the city, both private and commercial, that are seriously being affected. Most urgently, is the safety and well-being of every individual who is forced to use a detour which shares a common expressway as a means to safely get to their destinations”.

Fort William First nation will be hosting an open forum on Monday february 10th from 6:00PM to 9:00PM at the community centre (next to FWFN arena).  All interested business owners who wish to express their concerns over the bridge closure are encouraged to come.

The purpose of the forum will be to gather these concerns in order to prepare a position paper on the economic impact of the closure on both FWFN and city residents.