Status of Bridge 19 Port Colborne

File photo-The Lena J of St. Johns at rest beyond Bridge 19 in Port Colborne Wednesday. The ship came in contact with the bridge, the incident is still under investigation and the damage to the bridge is still being assessed.

***Reports are coming in that the bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic for the rest of the year. Erie Media is trying to get confirmation from the Seaway at this time about this.***

As of Friday afternoon, October 2, an engineering team from The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) continues to evaluate the damage caused by the collision of a ship with Bridge 19 in Port Colborne, in an effort to determine how quickly the bridge can be returned to full service.

At approximately 12 noon on Wednesday, September 30, the vessel Lena J came into contact with Bridge 19 in Port Colborne, Ontario, which spans the Welland Canal. Following this incident, the bridge was closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic to ensure the public’s safety.

Over the last 48 hours, the bridge has been the focus of a thorough structural inspection, to determine the extent of the damage caused by the collision. The conclusions drawn from this inspection are expected to be made public by the SLSMC’s engineering team by late Tuesday, October 6, after they have had an opportunity to analyze their findings.

At this stage in the process, the bridge remains closed to all vehicular traffic, and traffic barriers / signage are being put into place to alert motorists of the closure. Pedestrian traffic will be allowed over the bridge, when the bridge is in the lowered position.

In the interim, the SLSMC will ensure that the two fully operational bridges in Port Colborne spanning the Welland Canal (Bridge 19A and Bridge 21) will not be raised at the same point in time, to ensure that access across the canal is maintained for motorists and pedestrians.