Imperial and Suncor, which use the rail route that includes the bridge over the Steen River in Alberta, have agreed to contribute funds to the reconstruction. The aim is for construction to be completed by mid August.

The approximately 50m-long rail bridge is the commercial link for many communities near Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The approaches at both ends of the bridge will be rebuilt with concrete and steel and the bridge deck of the steel span across the river will be replaced.

“The government of the Northwest Territories is pleased that CN is moving forward with plans to rebuild the Steen River Rail Bridge in Alberta,” said minister of infrastructure Wally Schumann. “The Mackenzie Northern Railway is part of a transportation network extending from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. This network has historically connected Northern resources to southern markets and plays a key role in the transportation of fuel and other essential goods that are forwarded by truck and barge to communities and industries throughout the NWT, and across the Western Arctic.”

“Suncor is acutely aware of the devastation wildfires can create,” said Kris Smith, executive vice president, downstream, Suncor. “ It’s also vital that Canada’s northern communities be able to receive product by rail. We are pleased to be able to participate in the Steen River rail bridge reconstruction and help return rail service to the Great Slave Lake area as quickly as possible.”