N.B. scrambling to repair washed-out road that leads to tourist attraction
Published Friday, March 17, 2017 12:40PM ADT
The New Brunswick government is working on a plan to restore one of the region’s most important tourism thoroughfares before tourism season begins.
A culvert on Route 114, which connects Riverview to Alma and Fundy National Park, has been washed out for weeks. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser says holding water on one side of the culvert is holding up repairs.
For now, a detour is in place, leading motorists through a winding, wooded road.
“I think that we can qualify the present circumstances as a disaster for the Fundy region’s tourism industry,” says Ron Drisdelle of the New Brunswick Tourism Industry Association.
Plans to replace the culvert were already in the works before the washout and now the push is on to install a bridge.
“We have a two-lane modular bridge that we had ordered originally to set up a detour on that road, which should be here in the coming weeks, and we’ll be able to get that bridge installed,” says Fraser. “If everything goes well and as planned, we’ll be able to have that bridge installed, hopefully before or very early on in the tourism season.”
However, Fraser says there are no guarantees on when a temporary or permanent connection will be in place.
“Unfortunately we don’t have specific timelines until we can get that ground stabilized,” he says.
Drisdelle says the timing will be critical to the tourism industry.
“The icons like Cape Enrage, Fundy Park, they’re all going to be very drastically affected if there isn’t a solution found by May,” says Drisdelle. “Operators are now gearing up for business.”
The provincial government says a specialized piece of equipment could be on the ground soon to start doing preliminary work.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore