Court rules CN must reopen Ontario bridge to automobiles

RELATED TOPICS: CANADA | CANADIAN NATIONAL
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THUNDER BAY, Ontario — A Canadian court has ruled that Canadian National must reopen a bridge in Thunder Bay to automobiles, the Globe and Mail reports.

The bridge over the Kaministiquia River was built in 1909 to handle trains, vehicles, and pedestrians. The bridge was built by CN predecessor Grand Trunk Pacific and the city of Thunder Bay, which contributed $50,000 to the project. In 2013, the bridge was closed for three days due to a fire, but afterwards the railroad only opened it to trains and pedestrians. The railroad initially argued that automobiles could drive off the bridge, even though that has never happened in more than a century. The bridge has guard rails.

Thunder Bay took the railroad to court. A lower court agreed with the railroad, stating that the 1909 agreement only called for the railroad to maintain the bridge for horse and cart traffic. But this week, the Ontario Court of Appeals ruled CN had to reopen the bridge to all. The railroad will also have to pay the city’s legal fees.

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