FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new branch of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will help prevent or mitigate the effects of annual spring flooding on provincial transportation infrastructure.

The Emergency Management Branch provides professional and technical services to prepare for and respond to emergency situations, such as those caused by the spring melt along the province’s rivers. It also supports other branches and district offices that must respond to other situations involving damaged infrastructure.

“This involves working with a team of public and private resources to quickly resolve urgent issues that may arise,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “This can relate to the planning, design, tendering and construction of transportation infrastructure during times of emergency.”

The branch is divided into three main areas:

  • preparation and mitigation
  • response and recovery
  • contract and claim administration

This additional support allows the department’s operational staff to focus on pothole patching and regular seasonal maintenance.

The department monitors daily Saint John River water level forecasts from the Department of Environment and Local Government, along with risk assessments provided by the Emergency Measures Organization.

The Emergency Management Branch co-ordinates with internal and external partners to monitor and respond to the effects of the freshet. Information is shared with the public through the NB511 service, which is available via phone, mobile device or computer.

“The safety of the travelling public is our top priority,” said Green. “Our department will be even more prepared in the event we are faced with flooding this spring or in future years.”