SAVE THE BRIDGE TEAM
Abitibi Trestle Bridge in Iroquois Falls, Ontario
Attached [below] is a letter from the President of Resolute Forest Products (RFP) stating the closure of the Abitibi Trestle Bridge in Iroquois Falls, effective August 10, 2014.
This will close down access to the Northwest Industrial Road leading to Detour Lake and Mine, Province of Quebec and Twin Falls with its Lake Abitibi Lake Access, Twin Falls Marina and Twin Falls Power House Dams.
All traffic will be re-routed through Cochrane with backtracking turning a 10 km trip to Twin Falls into a 150 km trip.
Cottage owners are up in arms, along with the community, first nation communities, business sector, recreational users, not to discount H20 who owns Twin Falls power dam, that were recently purchased from RFP, logging sub-contractors, prospectors and outdoor lovers etc. etc.
It is a major social and economic blow to Iroquois Falls, First Nation People and North Eastern Ontario.
Not only in lack of access and lessened expenditures, but also devaluation of cottage properties and property values overall in Iroquois Falls.
Cochrane can expect an increase in both commercial and recreational traffic upon their community-funded roads, and possibly a boost in housing sales!
Ministers and Government officials like MNDM, MTO, and MNR have been informed by RFP and the community is awaiting communications, options and the government’s next step.
Maintenance and upkeep of this 60-year-old bridge appears to be the problem, possibly the structural engineering report will identify this?
Save the Bridge Team plan to be pro-active for the bridge to remain open, repaired, and long term maintained, and will work with various partners to obtain those objectives.
It is clear that RFP doesn’t.
The Save the Bridge Team has a few questions that we would like answered!
- What engineering firm did the inspection?
- Will RFP make this report publicly available?
- Have provincial engineers endorsed the engineering report, and have they viewed the bridge first hand?
- What does Resolute want to do with the bridge at the end of the day?
- What of emergency services, how will this be managed? (fire, OPP, ambulance, rescue)
- Resolute charged crossing fees to sub-contractors, what did they do with this money, bridge maintenance?