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Truck convoy arrives in North Bay. Cops say avoid the area

Motorists should expect significant delays in and around the community this afternoon and into Saturday morning.

The truckers protest convoy is in North Bay and will make a half-hour stop at Pinewood Park Drive this afternoon. Many will spend the night here before heading to Ottawa tomorrow.

Police are asking motorists to avoid that part of the city as delays from traffic disruptions are expected.

Callander has posted an alert saying motorists should expect "significant delays" in travel in and around the community this afternoon and into Saturday morning.

"Trucks/transports will be overnighting at the Petro-Canada on Pinewood Park Drive. They intend on using the Lake Nosbonsing/HWY 654 exit and head north to the Petro-Canada."

Residents coming from North Bay are encouraged to use Lakeshore Drive to Riverbend Road as truckers will not be allowed on these routes.

Motorists should try to avoid non-essential travel and avoid the area of Nipissing Junction at Highway 11, Lakeshore Drive, and Pinewood Park Drive between noon. and 4:30 p.m. and find alternate routes to their destination.

Local police will be working in collaboration with the OPP which will be monitoring the convoy as it makes its way along the highway to North Bay.

"The North Bay Police Service will have an increased police presence in the area to maintain public safety and address any potential traffic congestion that may occur as a result of the increased number of vehicles. There are also contingencies in place to reroute the general traffic around the area to avoid further congestion if required," says spokesman David Woolley.

"The North Bay Police Service is anticipating that approximately 1,000 members of the convoy will be staying in North Bay through the night, departing the morning of January 29. NBPS and our policing partners have put in place appropriate contingencies to limit the impact this will have on traffic congestion."

Updates will be provided to the public via the North Bay Police Service’s social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.  

"I just ask the citizens to be patient as everyone has the right to protest and we respect that right as Canadians and we think that it will be very peaceful. So we are not anticipating any problems," Mayor Al McDonald told BayToday.

"I can tell you through our briefing, which included the hospital CEO, hosted by the city police and the OPP, that they are working really well with the convoy. They have got it really planned out. They have got routes. Our city staff have plowed the roads wider on Pinewood Park Drive to give people a lot more room there.

"Obviously, we are a little concerned with the amount of traffic coming through. They are estimating just over 400 in the convoy but I have confidence in the OPP and the North Bay police have it well in hand."

McDonald says police assured the hospital that ambulances would still have access. 

"It has been well planned out so the hospital's concerns were answered, including fire, police our city concerns. We have even been in contact with the railway so I have confidence in everyone that is involved."

As the convoy of trucks and regular vehicles passed by Thunder Bay earlier today, it was reportedly 17 kilometres long

With files from Chris Dawson.

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