Repairs are underway as workers scramble to install a temporary culvert on Highway 587 after the road was washed out due to heavy rainfall.

The Ministry of Transportation said the highway is closed at Joe Creek, 17 km south of Highway 11/17 (three kilometres in from the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park entrance) due to the washout. 

"Safety is our top priority and repairs are underway," the ministry stated in a press release.

"Crews are working to install a temporary culvert to provide emergency access only at the site of the washout.  This is anticipated to be completed by tomorrow."

The ministry noted the contractor is currently sourcing material for a permanent culvert and installation of the replacement is expected to be completed and the highway reopened by the end of next week, depending on the weather.     

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park Superintendant Greg Wilson says 12 staff members and 8 campers are stranded in the park. He says the park's usual emergency access road, through the Thunder Bay Lookout, is also washed out.

Wilson says campers and staff are ready to leave once the temporary culvert is in place.

"We are not sure if that is going to be lasting any longer than a few hours before it is not passable again."

Wilson says staff had to find some additional food and supplies for some campers who were supposed to leave on Thursday. He says most campers were intending to stay longer, and had lots of supplies on hand.

For the latest information about current highway closures, phone 5-1-1, the MTO’s Road Information Line.