GAGETOWN (CNB) – The next phase of construction will soon begin on 29 kilometres of  wildlife fencing on the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 2) in Sunbury and Queens counties.  Transportation Minister Denis Landry made the announcement.

The project area is from Burpee Brook to the St. John River bridge and from Broad Road to Queens Brook. A tender valued at more than $916,000 has been awarded to Maritime Fence Ltd. of Moncton; it was among three companies that submitted bids.

"A great deal of progress has been made on this fencing project already, with posts being installed and clearing activities finished," said Landry. "We decided to install fencing on this section of highway after it exceeded our hotspot criteria with 38 reported collisions between motorists and wildlife between 2004 and 2008. This major investment demonstrates government's commitment to improving highway safety through our wildlife management program."

Since 2007, the province has erected 324 kilometres of fencing and undertaken more than 1,200 kilometres of brush clearing to improve visibility along highways.

During this construction season, a total of 40 kilometres of fencing will be installed. Landry cautioned drivers to do their part, reduce their speeds and watch for moose, deer and other large animals.

"Motorists must be alert and be aware of the presence of moose along our highways, particularly between now and October during dusk," said Landry. "We encourage drivers to reduce their speeds and scan both sides of the highway."