NB government announces replacement of 100+ year old Bathurst bridge

It's been on their "to-do" list for more than three decades, and now the provincial government is set to replace a local bridge that's more than 100 years old.

Bathurst-West-Beresford MLA Brian Kenny says a tender will be issued in the coming months to replace the Tetagouche River #2 bridge, commonly referred to as "Brown's Bridge".

The bridge spans the Tetagouche river on Route 315/Sunset Drive in Bathurst and was constructed in 1915.

It's only able to accommodate a single lane of traffic and is subject to a five-tonne weight restriction.

It will be replaced with a three-span concrete bridge.

Kenny says the government will be working with first-responders and other stakeholders to ensure there is an adequate alternate route to the Chaleur Regional Hospital during the construction process.

The New Brunswick government is investing more than $76 million in bridges this year through the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure's capital budget.

The replacement of the Tetagouche River #2 is included in more than $15 million in investments in improving roads, bridges and highways in the Chaleur region and Acadian Peninsula.

Fongemie says the project is also good news for some tractor trailer drivers who, he says, are forced to turn around once the realize the current bridge has a five-tonne weight restriction.

Bathurst mayor Paolo Fongemie the bridge replacement will improve access to the hospital and help with long lineups of traffic he's witnessed on that part of the road.

Work is expected to begin this summer and Kenny says it should wrap up in the fall of 2018.