While everyone else this morning is reeling over the death of David Bowie, I'm far more shocked at the news that Canada has just been cut in half!
Living in a metropolitan area of over 6 million people, I often forget just how remote and isolated much of Canada is. And I never imagined that one bridge in the middle of Canada was the only thing joining the west with the east.
Due to extreme weather conditions, the Nipigon River Bridge has failed, causing one side of it to rise two feet. This bridge is on the Trans-Canada Highway, which you may gather from the name, is a highway that goes pretty much right across Canada.
“Canada has been cut in half,” said Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey. “If you want to take something from Toronto to B.C., it goes across this bridge. There is no alternative. Every truck that goes across Canada goes across this bridge.” (Quote from the Toronto Star article on the bridge closure.)
Zooming in, you can see the Trans-Canada Highway is pretty much the only road around. Other minor roads shown in grey just service local communities.
While the bridge is closed for who knows how long, all trans-Canada traffic must now take a detour through the US.
Gotta love Google, they're on top of things, already showing that the bridge is closed, and what the detour is. It looks like the additional travel time is 4.5 hours, plus however long the border crossings will take.
This is a matter of national security, and will cause some serious economic impact, and I imagine will be the source of a lot of jokes. The perfect storm of Canada's renowned cold weather and remoteness.