Feds, province give green light to Coles Island bridge replacement
Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018 10:12PM ADT
The federal and provincial governments have given the green light to a bridge replacement project in Coles Island, New Brunswick.
It’s a project that many say is long overdue.
The two 60-year-old bridges at Coles Island have been reduced to one lane, and for good reason.
When cars go over, the bridges vibrate, and when trucks cross, the deck shakes, so much so, that some local residents fear the worst.
“Big chunks of concrete are missing and we know it’s just a matter of time before somebody gets hurt,” says resident Lew Remington. “It’s going to happen.”
“It’s dangerous,” adds resident Kathie Remington. “We worry about it all the time. We worry about going across it. We worry about our families going across it.”
On Wednesday, two transportation ministers, federal and provincial, were at the site to declare the highway a national trade corridor, and to promise new bridges.
“Twenty two million dollars for the route ten project here at Coles Island,” announced Canada’s Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau.
The provincial government is matching that amount.
It comes amid a chorus of complaints about the condition of bridges and roads in rural New Brunswick.
Premier Brian Gallant insisted on Wednesday, that when it comes to roads and bridges, rural areas are not being overlooked.
“So I can tell you that we very much understand the importance of spending on infrastructure to create jobs around the province,” says Premier Brian Gallant. “Including in rural New Brunswick, and that’s why we’re here today.”
Preliminary engineering work is underway for the two new bridges, but the project is expected to last four years.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.