FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has been reviewing the structure and working on options for the short- and long-term future of the Kouchibouguac River Bridge No.1.

On Sept. 20, the bridge was closed due to structural concerns caused by aging, weathering and damage inflicted by Hurricane Dorian. Structural issues included the significant loss of concrete from the underside of the deck at critical areas which directly impact the strength of the bridge. Staff determined that it is not possible to open the structure at this time due to the possibility of the bridge collapsing.

In the short term, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will install a modular bridge. Planning for this work will be completed in December with the installation expected to be complete before spring 2020, weather permitting. This is the quickest and safest way to temporarily restore this transportation link.

The department is working diligently to develop a long-term plan and determine next steps in installing a permanent structure.

On Nov. 28, the provincial government signed a Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement with the federal government, securing funding to complete the project.