LAMÈQUE (GNB) – The provincial government has announced that a new bridge will be built to replace the Lamèque-Shippagan bridge.

The current bridge linking the island of Lamèque to the mainland was constructed in 1959. It is one of a kind in New Brunswick, as it has a central lift that allows boats to pass. The 194-metre span is nearing the end of its life and could be decommissioned within 10 to 20 years.

“Strategic investment in transportation infrastructure is an important part of your government’s multi-year economic growth plan,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “The replacement of the Lamèque-Shippagan bridge will include a complex planning process and a design process but is an important step in ensuring the modernization of this vital link to the region. The construction on the new bridge will begin in 2022.”

Since 2015, the government has invested $1.4 million in repairs to the current bridge to ensure it can continue serving the community until the process of designing and building a replacement is complete.

Pre-construction work on the project has begun and will continue over the coming years as more study is required prior to beginning the concept phase.

About $100,000 was invested during the 2017-18 fiscal year for planning and design work with respect to location options.

For 2018-19, the government has committed $250,000 towards the collection of design data, as well as surveying, geotechnical and hydraulic studies.

During this year, and in coming years, community consultations will take place to select a design that works for the community.

“I am proud to be part of a government that is making necessary investments in our infrastructure,” said Agriculture, Mines and Rural Affairs Minister Wilfred Roussel. “Commitments such as this are crucial to the future economy and quality of life in our community and our region.”

Roussel spoke on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser.

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