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Thousand Islands Bridge reopens following anti-pipeline protest

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Anti-pipeline protesters brought the Thousand Islands Bridge near Alexandria Bay and Clayton to a standstill for several hours on Monday afternoon.

The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority said the U.S.-Canada crossing closed around 1:15 pm. and re-opened by 3 p.m., with traffic diverted to Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.

“For us, this is our quietest crossing when it comes to stuff like this, so it was a bit unexpected,” said Todd Kealey, a spokesman for Canada’s Federal Bridge Corporation.

The CBC broadcast photos of the demonstrators on foot, holding signs. They were reportedly aligned with the Mohawk First Nation, who were joining other indigenous protesters blockading rail lines across Canada over a planned natural gas pipeline.

Kealey said they do not expect to bring any extra security staff to the bridge at this time.

“I don’t think that’s warranted at this stage," he said. "If a pattern starts developing, we’ll obviously sit back and start to rethink things.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held meetings with his cabinet on Monday in an effort to resolve the weeks-long standoff over the blockade.

Demonstrations temporarily shut down the Cornwall Island border crossing near Massena earlier this month.