New Brunswick Transportation Minister Bill Fraser was on hand Friday in Hillsborough to announce the reopening of Route 114 after a 72-day closure
“I can’t put into words how proud I am of the bridge crew [for] their long hours in getting this project done, not just on time but even a little earlier than expected,” Fraser said.
The 50-metre bridge, which connects Riverview to Hillsborourgh, Alma and Fundy National Park, opened late Friday afternoon
On March 2, a culvert that allows Stoney Creek to drain under Route 114 and into the Petitcodiac River collapsed, cutting off the main route between Moncton and Fundy National Park.
Since then, drivers have been forced onto a 22-kilometre detour along the Dawson, Pine Glen and Niagara roads, none of which were designed for heavy traffic and were recently voted among the worst in Atlantic Canada.
The provincial government says it hopes to change that.
“It’s not where it needs to be and we’re committed to doing that over the summer months. There will be a lot more work happening this summer. Our crews will continue to work on the detour route to bring it up to a better standard that it is now for sure,” Fraser said.
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WATCH: WATCH: Badly-painted lines and a poorly constructed roadway on Route 114 has left drivers with broken vehicles. Paul Cormier reports.
News of the reopening is good news for business owners in the area.
Jay Lee, whose store Brian’s Variety is on Route 114, said the last 2 and a half months have been devastating
“It was very, very painful, but the local people support me, they came here, [they] still drove from downtown Riverview,” Lee said. “It helped me a lot so I can survive.”
He believes it’ll take him about six months to a year to recover his losses.
“One or two weeks we can be patient, but two months is too long.”
Local residents echoed his thoughts
“It’s the time of year and the magnitude of the job itself took a lot of time, but I think they got it done fairly well,” said resident Gene Wilson.
“It’s been well worth the wait because I cant take that back road anymore,” said Hillsborough resident, Tammy Davidson.