By Jeff Labine
THE CHRONICLE-JOURNAL
Published: July 13, 2016

After years of waiting, the City of Thunder Bay has finally been able to inspect the James Street swing bridge.

The city has been waiting to inspect the bridge, which is owned by CN Rail, since a Superior Court judge ruling earlier in the year.

The bridge, which is the most direct route to Fort William First Nation from the city, has been closed off to automotive traffic since being damaged by a fire back in 2013.

The company and the city are currently in a legal battle regarding who is responsible for repairing the bridge.

The city is arguing that a century-old agreement between the municipality and CN means the company is responsible for repairs and for re-opening the bridge.

City manager Norm Gale told The Chronicle-Journal that city inspectors and representatives of Fort William First Nation inspected the bridge on July 7.

He said they are now waiting for their reports. “We’re pleased that our inspectors had access to the CN bridge,” he said on Tuesday. “When we receive their report, we will share it with council. Administration will review and council will provide direction at that time. The bridge is important and is a top of mind issue for council.”

Gale said that the inspection lasted for about two hours and no additional visitations are scheduled at this moment. Gale wasn’t sure if the reports would be made public as they will be a part of the city’s legal battle with CN.