Update: Highway 17 Will Re-open Later Today

WAWA, ON – With luck, the Trans Canada highway will be open in both directions by this afternoon. But that doesn’t mean the traffic problems are gone.

Brenda Grundt, who operates the area’s online news service wawa-news1.com, told todaystrucking.com Wednesday that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has said the northbound lane will be repaired but under construction, so access will be limited.

“We’re also in the middle of a snowstorm, and that’s not making things much easier,” she said. “And they’re calling for freezing rain.”

A spokesman for the MTO told todaystrucking.com that the Trans Canada will indeed be open this afternoon but the severe storm has led to the closure of other local roads. People passing through the area are advised to call 511 for the latest information.

Wawa remains in a state of emergency, and the Michipicoten First Nation Reserve was evacuated.

The Wawa washout, says Grundt, is simply more evidence of the fragility of this country’s national highway system.

“What a lot of people down south don’t understand is that a simple collision here can shut the highway eight to 10 hours.”

Until the road was re-opened,  the only alternative route for trucks headed north towards White River and Thunder Bay was to detour east to Hornepayne and  Chapleau and then north to Timmins and Kirkland Lake on west highway 11.

For quick updates on the situation, you can follow Grundt on twitter at @wawaWx-Roads.

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