Natural Resources Canada announced an $887,000 investment to support the replacement of the Duchesnay Creek Bridge that connects the City of North Bay and the Nipissing First Nation. The Government of Ontario contributed $17 million. The bridge opened in August 2021.

This funding supported the design and construction of the new replacement bridge and was made with the intention of maintaining the original timber aesthetic of the old bridge. The bridge was built through a limited partnership of Nipissing First Nation and Miller Paving, which provided employment and training opportunities for the community. This high-visibility project will help promote the use of mass timber in highway bridges across Canada. By building with wood, this project will result in a total carbon benefit of 991 metric tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to taking over 190 cars off the road for a full year.

“There is no solution to climate change that does not involve our forests. Creating new markets for Canadian timber supports our forestry workers, creates jobs and gets us to net zero. By supporting the use of wood in construction, we are taking action to protect our planet and support our communities,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.

“When partners work together, great things get built and communities thrive,” said Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu, “Using green construction materials and including employment and training opportunities with the local community, this project shows others how to make sure what we build as a country can help with our goals of a cleaner and more inclusive country. A big congratulations to all involved.”

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Funding for this project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program, which encourages the use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, such as tall and low-rise non-residential buildings and bridges. The program aims to position Canada as a world leader in innovative timber construction systems and technologies and in the low-carbon economy.

“We were pleased to partner in this project to demonstrate that infrastructure can be built in new and innovative ways,” said Chief Scott McLeod, Nipissing First Nation. “Not only were we successful in building a beautiful bridge that improved pedestrian safety for our members, but we also demonstrated that First Nations can lead and manage projects on this scale. We are so pleased that this bridge was built using wood and put together by our people, piece by piece, with our partners at Miller Paving.”

Featured image: DTAH

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