Ambulance NB adds unit to prevent service delays when causeway closes

·2 min read
Ambulance New Brunswick has added a second unit in Riverview to mitigate any emergency service delays from Petitcodiac causeway construction. (CBC - image credit)
Ambulance New Brunswick has added a second unit in Riverview to mitigate any emergency service delays from Petitcodiac causeway construction. (CBC - image credit)

Expected traffic disruptions from the removal of the Petitcodiac River causeway has prompted Ambulance New Brunswick to add a second unit to emergency services in Riverview.

A project to remove the causeway and build a bridge as part of a river restoration plan is set to begin next week. The new bridge could open in October.

But the construction work until then has left some Riverview residents worried about potential delays in ambulance service, paired with a potential increase in road accidents.

"ANB has been planning for this for a long period of time," Jean-Pierre Savoie, vice-president of Ambulance New Brunswick, told Information Morning Moncton on Monday, "We've been working closely with our other emergency service partners.

"I believe we're ready in advance for the bridge closure."

About 27,000 vehicles a day use the causeway linking Riverview with Moncton, according to project estimates.

This traffic is expected to drift to the Gunningsville Bridge, the only other option for Moncton-to-Riverview access, which is typically already used by 25,000 vehicles a day.

Savoie said ANB consulted with the Riverview Fire Department, RCMP, the Town of Riverview and the Department of Transportation to create a plan for how to handle possible service disruptions.

Jean-Pierre Savoie, vice president of Ambulance New Brunswick, said major delays aren't expected over six-month construction of new bridge across the Petitcodiac River.
Jean-Pierre Savoie, vice president of Ambulance New Brunswick, said major delays aren't expected over six-month construction of new bridge across the Petitcodiac River.(Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Riverview currently has one ambulance, which serves the area 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be adding a second ambulance for the duration of construction.

The additional ambulance will be staffed by a team of two paramedics and will operate from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day.

"I don't believe we're going to see any major delays," said Savoie.

"What we need is the help of the general public during the period of the construction. I think people will have to be patient and some of them will have to change their routine to leave a little early or leave a little later from work."

Savoie said 24 paramedics were recently hired in New Brunswick and four or five will be allocated to Riverview.