Toronto Style Traffic Jams in Fort William First Nation

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Traffic is backed up on Fort William First Nation.
Traffic was backed up on Fort William First Nation and along Highway 61 for up to two hours

Traffic is backed up on Fort William First Nation.
Traffic is backed up on Fort William First Nation.

THUNDER BAY – Usually in Thunder Bay the term traffic jam refers to what people who have lived in Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver would call “Rush Minute”.

Traffic Jams are bad for business.
Traffic Jams are bad for business.

On Tuesday, construction on the roads have huge traffic jams on Mission Road, and on Highway 61 heading south.

The problem is being added to as nice weather takes people out to, or at least trying to get out to Chippewa Park. People were stuck on the road for up to ninety minutes on Tuesday.

Traffic was worse starting at 4PM. People getting off work told NetNewsLedger of being stuck in their vehicles for over an hour as they waited for traffic to get moving.

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responded to a call at Mount McKay on the FWFN last night, hikers were stuck on the mountain after dark. If the same situation were to have happened during the day, with the backed up traffic, the problem for EMS would have been far worse.

FWFN, the City of Thunder Bay and CN Rail appeared mired in a dance of deliberations over fixing the James Street Bridge.

It often appears that for CN, the people stuck waiting for a solution are the ones being left behind. So too are the people on FWFN whose jobs depend on getting to and from work, or depend on people driving out to the First Nation.

Its long past time for action for many people.

CN Rail is responding to both Fort William First Nation and the City of Thunder Bay, stating in effect that they don’t appreciate being threatened.

The text of the agreement that has been binding since the bridge was built reads:

“The Company will maintain the bridge in perpetuity without cost to the Town except the cost and maintenance of streetcar rail sand trolley wires which will be furnished by the Town or Electric Railway Company using the bridge; and that the space allowed for Town traffic on each side of the bridge, be sufficient to accommodate streetcar vehicular traffic and separate passage for foot passengers.”

The bridge has not been maintained in the manner agreed to in the contract since October 31 2013.

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 took care to get the bridge working for trains in a hurry. Getting it running for vehicles and passenger traffic has continued to appear low on CN’s priority list.

4139-008 1906 Agreement #8 Grand Trunk Railway -Bridge