ALMA (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments are investing more than $45 million in the Fundy Trail Connector infrastructure project, improving connections to the Fundy Trail Parkway.

“We are listening to New Brunswickers and focusing on their priorities,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “We know how important tourism is to the economy. This investment will increase the number of tourists who visit our province and help create jobs.”

The provincial government is contributing $32.3 million for the project, while the federal government is providing $13.2 million.

"Completing the roads that connect the Fundy Trail Parkway through to Fundy National Park is just the beginning of a new era for the tourism industry in southern New Brunswick,” said Fundy Royal MP Alaina Lockhart. “I will continue to work with the federal government in close partnership with the Province of New Brunswick to ensure we make smart infrastructure investments that contribute to economic development and help grow our middle class right here in Fundy Royal. We are creating a world-class destination that will attract people from around the world to experience the beauty we know and love here in our own backyard."

Lockhart attended for federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

The project will involve new road construction, as well as upgrades to Little Salmon River Road, Creek Road and Shepody Road. Once completed, these roads will form a connection to the eastern end of the Fundy Trail Parkway, linking major tourism attractions through the Alma region including Hopewell Rocks, Cape Enrage, and Fundy National Park, and expanding tourism opportunities through the Bay of Fundy experience. The network will also provide travellers a connection to the Sussex region.

An environmental impact assessment for the project, which was approved in 1994, is being updated to reflect changes to requirements associated with environmental legislation and to submit required information as the phases are initiated. Fieldwork has already begun.

Under typical government financing and construction scheduling, the project would not be complete until 2023. The provincial government is managing the project in partnership with the private sector, and is using accelerated methods and phasing to ensure a connection to the eastern end of the Fundy Trail is open as soon as possible. The connector road to the Sussex region will open to traffic in late 2019, while the connector road to the Alma region will be upgraded by the end of 2020. All road surfacing and other finishing work will be done and the project completed in 2021.

The second phase of the Fundy Trail Parkway, a closed-loop road from St. Martins to McCumber Brook kiosk and back to St. Martins, will be opened in mid-2018 as scheduled.