COLES ISLAND (GNB) – The detours for the Coles Island bridges are open to traffic, the provincial government announced today.

“The new detour enhances traveller safety and convenience on Route 10,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “Completing this first phase is a welcome step toward a final replacement of this key strategic resource corridor.”

The two detour bridges have been constructed to take the traffic off the existing bridges. This allows work to begin on removing the current structures and the construction of replacement bridges which is expected to start in 2021 and to take up to three years to complete.

“Transportation and distribution of goods are a vital part of our local, regional and national economies,” said federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau. “The upgrades to Route 10 increase the fluidity of trade at this strategic transportation corridor and will help local businesses compete while fostering economic growth for New Brunswick.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at $45 million. The federal government is funding $22,062,000 through the National Trade Corridors Fund and the provincial government is funding $22,800,000.

Provincial funding for this phase of the project was provided through the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s $493-million capital budget for 2019-20 and the $504-million capital budget for 2020-21.