The Burlington Canal lift bridge has been indefinitely closed, the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) said.
Spokesperson Emily Paivalainen told Global News that public services and procurement Canada has instructed staff to leave the bridge in the raised position over the shipping canal into Hamilton Harbour until further notice.
“Our harbormaster will be helping vessels navigate through it, but we won’t be lifting and operating it just because of public services,” Paivalainen said.
The bridge’s closure will also affect traffic near Eastport Drive. Some of the area is now closed to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
Paivalainen would not confirm the move was connected to COVID-19 but did say the federal government will issue a formal public announcement on Tuesday.
Last Tuesday, HOPA released a statement in light of the new coronavirus pandemic, saying it would be taking action to “ensuring a lesser impact” on staff.
“The 2020 marine shipping season is still set to open in a matter of weeks in Hamilton and Oshawa, and our ports will continue with as much normalcy as possible in the movement of goods via marine, road and rail during this crisis,” Paivalainen said in the statement.
Meanwhile, HSR says route 11 Parkdale – which normally crosses the bridge – will be making detours in each direction, according to Hamilton’s transit agency.