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When the sun rose over Thunder Bay on Monday, illuminating the rusted girders of the James Street bridge, it revealed a welcome sight: weekday morning traffic flowing in a steady stream back and forth across the Kaministiquia River for the first time in six years.
But there’s still a problem with the decades-old link between the Fort William First Nation on the south side of the river and the city on the north. It looks as if fire trucks will not be able to travel on the reopened bridge to get to the First Nation.
Thus a repair that was supposed to help heal a division between Fort William and the rest of the city could end up underlining the enduring gap instead.
A fire closed the bridge in 2013. Residents of the First Nation had to make a time-consuming detour to another bridge upriver to reach jobs, lessons and medical appointments in town. So the reopening of the bridge last Friday evening had the community of about 1,000 buzzing.
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