East and west Canada separated as bridge breaks in two

'This is the one place in Canada where there is only one road, one bridge across the country'

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The Independent US

Part of the Trans-Canada highway has been closed “indefinitely” after a bridge has split apart, severing east and west Canada.

The bridge has been closed for “an indefinite time due to mechanical issues”, according to the Ontario Provincial Police, reported CBC news.

The newly constructed Nipigon River Bridge in Ontario is the only road connecting the two areas in Canada.

After officers arrived, they found the west side of the bridge to be jutting about “60 centimetres above the road”, according to CTV News.

No vehicles were damaged and no one was injured in the incident. The bridge has remained open to pedestrians.

The incident happened in the middle of a $106 million (£52 million) project to replace the old bridge with two identical, two-lane expanses. The west bound lanes were opened in November.

Steven Del Duca, minster of transportation for Ontario said in a statement the ministry “will do everything the can do to restore the bridge quickly, while also making sure that the safety of the travelling public remains of paramount importance.”

The mayor of Nipigon, Richard Harvey told CBC News: “It’s not just us. It’s all of Canada that has a problem right now.

“This is the one place in Canada where there is only one road, one bridge across the country.”

Community centres are being opened for anyone who has been stranded due to the bridge failing, which experts are still unsure as to how it happened, but are determined to find the cause. 

Police stopped people heading out on the Trans-Canada Highway, instructing people to turn back or use an alternative route and Greenstone, in the Ontario municipality, northeast of Nipigon, had declared a state of emergency as a result. 

It is unclear when the bridge is likely to open yet, but the main alternative is a long detour through the US.