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U.S. In-Transit Regulations Relaxed After Nipigon Bridge Failure

U.S. In-Transit Regulations Relaxed After Nipigon Bridge Failure

The trucking companies, who were looking to avoid delays caused by the partial closure of the Nipigon River Bridge, can take a breath of relief. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), USCBP has relaxed the regulations regarding the bridge’s failure.

Previously, forensics tried to find the cause for the sudden failure of the Nipigon Bridge, which caused the bolts to break on Sunday. The River Bridge is the part of Canada’s critical East-West Artery, the Trans-Canada Highway and critics are debating over the poor construction of the structure. Each day, at least 1,300 trucks go over the Trans-Canada highway, but after the bridge split, one section of the bridge was lifted upwards. This caused delays for the vehicles stuck on the other side of the incidental structure.

Transportation critics, especially the Queen’s park drivers, are looking for possible explanations and they asked the management to give accountability over the recent failure, under harsh frigid weather. In a cold weather, finding alternative routes for transporting goods across the U.S. border is going to prove very difficult for the trucking enterprises. Most of the people, affected by the bridge failure, are calling it mismanagement of Northern Ontario Highway Authority. Michael Harris, a PC transportation critic, said in a statement, “The premier and the ministers — ultimately, it lands on Steven Del Duca, the Minister of Transportation — owe people an explanation for the failure of the Nipigon River Bridge, only 42 days after opening. Given the questions around yesterday’s failures, motorists will understandably have questions about this minister’s ability to ensure their safety.”

Questions have arisen in lieu of the incident, and the safety of the vehicles has been challenged. However, to manage the situation, Ontario Ministry of Transportation has opened one lane on the bridge, which has allowed the automotives to advance forward slowly. The authorities have limited the speed to 25 km/h, across the bridge, to prevent any further damage to the structure. However, people are still hesitant and afraid to cross over the bridge in its present dilapidated condition.

NDP transportation critic Wayne Gates said in his statement, “Nipigon River Bridge is the transport lifeline for Northern communities and for commerce across the province. The $106-million Nipigon River Bridge has been open for less than two months and it failed in its first encounter with a northern Ontario winter. Thank goodness no one was seriously injured or died.”

With only one lane opened, USCBP has allowed commercial vehicles to transit into the U.S. for domestic good transportation, and has approved a temporary contingency plan, allowing the Canadian vehicles to enter the U.S. at Sault Ste. Marie, Detroit, or Port Huron, MI; Grand Portage or International Falls , MN (from 8 am to 4 pm); and Pembina, ND. David Bradley, president and CEO of both the CTA and the Ontario Trucking Association appreciated the initiative and said in a statement, “We are extremely pleased by and appreciative of this outcome and the swiftness with which our concerns were responded to.”

Although an alliance has been maintained, CTA warned that the technical legalities and the regulatory entry requirements will remain the same for all the vehicles entering the U.S. According to the statement issued by CTA, “Those unfamiliar with border crossing procedures could face increased delays when they arrive. It should be noted that all driver and shipment requirements will remain consistent with admissibility, meaning drivers will need WHTI compliant documents, carriers will have to supply advance manifest information, and goods regulated by other government agencies such as FDA, APHIS, EPA or TDG must meet the requirements of the respective department.” – See more at:

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