THUNDER BAY – Traffic to and from Fort William First Nation and Chippewa Park and along Highway 61 South are snarled up in traffic jams today. Construction delays are generating a lot of frustration.
Road construction to put in an additional lane are causing the traffic jam.
There will be road work ongoing today and on Remembrance Day. Weather permitting from 10AM until 3PM, the work will be ongoing. After that, the intersection at Highway 61 South and Chippewa Road will be under construction and more delays are expected.
Many are concerned for the Remembrance Day Services at Fort William First Nation on November 11th.
The traffic demonstrates the need for substantive action in first repairing the James Street Bridge, and second in replacing the bridge with a new and more modern bridge.
The James Street Bridge is closed to all but train traffic. It has been closed since an October 2013 fire damaged the bridge.
The bridge which is under an agreement with CN Rail and the City of Thunder Bay stemming from the early days when it was Fort William and the railway has both sides locked in legal wrangling.
The cost to businesses in Westfort and on Fort William First Nation have continued to climb.
One of the issues that is coming forward now is transit service to Fort William First Nation – with the bridge closure people without cars who used to be able to easily walk across the bridge now sees them stranded for long periods of time.
Perhaps it is time for the federal government to step up and work with Fort William First Nation toward building a new bridge.