Nipigon Bridge Progress Report
NIPIGON – With funding from the province’s Northern Highways Program, construction of the new Nipigon River Bridge is well underway with work completed on the lower portions of the north and centre towers.
“I am incredibly pleased with the progress we are continuing to see on the Highway 11/17 corridor between Thunder Bay and Nipigon,” stated Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. “The unexpectedly early opening of another stretch of the four-lane highway is very welcome, as is the significant progress on the historic Nipigon River Bridge, a structure that will be the only cable-stayed bridge in the Province of Ontario. This entire project has been a crusade of mine from the moment I first took office almost 20 years ago. To see it move forward is very gratifying, particularly as it will have such a positive impact on the lives of countless residents, visitors and businesses that rely on this vital stretch of highway every day.”
Construction of the bridge is expected to be complete by 2017. In addition, a new section of the four-lane highway between Thunder Bay and Nipigon is expected to be completed before the end of this construction season.
“Our government is improving infrastructure across the province, which creates jobs and strengthens our economy. Projects such as this will help ensure our roads are safe and in good condition for years to come,”
commented Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation
The four-lane stretch between Highway 527 (Spruce River Road) and McKenzie Road will open during the week of September 29th. When this section is in full use, drivers will have 33 consecutive kilometres of four-lane highway between Hodder Avenue and Birch Beach.
The cable-stayed bridge will be the first of its kind on the Ontario highway system. It will consist of three towers with cables supporting the bridge deck and a separate sidewalk for pedestrians.
In September 2012, a six-kilometre stretch of four-lane highway was completed on Highway 11-17 east of Thunder Bay between Hodder Avenue and Highway 527. Another 14-kilometre section of this corridor from Mackenzie Road to Birch Beach was completed in July 2013.
The $106-million contract was awarded to Bot Ferrovial Nipigon Joint Venture.
Since 2003, the province has improved 4,123 kilometres of highway and 245 bridges, and constructed 582 kilometres of new four-lane highway along with 123 new bridges throughout Northern Ontario.