MONCTON (GNB) – Planning, design and construction of a new 240-metre permanent bridge over the Petitcodiac River is getting underway in 2018. The new bridge will provide a safer crossing for commuters between Moncton and Riverview and allow for enhanced eco-tourism growth opportunities in the region.

“Strategic investment in transportation infrastructure is an important part of your government’s multi-year economic growth plan,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “The bridge and channel construction will complete the final stage of restoring the Petitcodiac River to its natural state. In the short term, jobs will be created during construction and in the long term, eco-tourism will provide opportunities for sustained economic growth.”

The next phase of the project involves the replacement of the aging river gate structure with a 240-metre steel girder bridge and realigning the river channel at an estimated cost of $14 million. The provincial government is contributing $34.6 million to the project and the federal government will provide the remaining $27 million.

“The Government of Canada is proud to mark the next phase of construction on this important project, which will support long-term prosperity for the region, as well as protect the local fish population,” said federal Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “Today’s milestone is a significant step towards addressing environmental issues that have affected the Petitcodiac River and surrounding area for more than 50 years.”

LeBlanc spoke on behalf of federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi.

The provincial government is also partnering with the Town of Riverview on a $1.9-million project to add lanes and upgrade the intersection at Route 114-Gunningsville Bridge/Gunningsville Boulevard. These upgrades will help alleviate traffic congestion during the Petitcodiac bridge and channel construction.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s $688.2 million capital budget reflects the government’s priority to invest strategically in its buildings, highways and bridges. Strategic investments in infrastructure are a key component of the multi-year New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan, government’s framework for moving the economy forward.