FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced plans for this year’s work on the Petitcodiac River bridge.

“Our government is committed to the bridge and channel construction over the Peticodiac River,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Oliver. “We know this project is important to our residents of the Moncton region, and we will ensure its completion.”

Work is expected to continue in early summer and includes a deck contract which will be completed in the summer of 2020.

A roadway connections and channel construction contract will be awarded for work that will begin during the summer of 2020. This includes decommissioning the river gate structure and realigning the river channel.

The provincial government partnered with the Town of Riverview last year on a $1.9-million project to add lanes and upgrade the intersection at Route 114-Gunningsville Bridge/Gunningsville Boulevard. These upgrades were meant to alleviate traffic congestion during the Petitcodiac bridge and channel construction.

The government has moved the completion date for the new bridge to the fall of 2021 due to financial pressures.

“For too long, governments have been careless with how taxpayer dollars are spent, and we have made a number of decisions that allowed us to table a budget with the first surplus in a decade,” said Oliver. “Part of these decisions involved taking a more responsible approach to this project, which has resulted in an adjusted timeline.”

A four- to six-month closure of the causeway was initially scheduled for 2020. This closure will now happen in 2021. The total cost of the project is $61.6 million, with the federal government contributing $27 million.