The only highway connecting eastern and western Canada was closed this morning after a bridge split in the middle, with one half of the bridge rising up 23 inches, possibly because of heavy winds.
The Nipigon River Bridge was recently opened to provide a reliable connection from east to west, the Toronto Star reports, but today cars are being re-routed to cross over the U.S. border and back into Canada to make their journeys.
“Canada has been cut in half,” Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey told the Toronto Star. “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.”
Harvey said it's still not clear what exactly caused the break but a driver who was approaching the bridge just before the split occurred reported a strong gust of wind just before part of the bridge rose up.
"As we turned [onto the highway], we saw the whole bridge—a kind of big gust of wind came underneath it and blew it up and then it came back down," driver Ashley Littlefield told the CBC.
The bridge has been open since late last year, replacing an older structure.
An update from local police this morning said that one lane has re-opened to traffic on the bridge but work on fixing the damage continues: