When causeway closes, Riverview commuters may want to cycle, make fewer trips

·2 min read

The Town of Riverview has released a report into public consultations it held about what could be a painful few months for drivers in the community.

This year, the causeway across the Petitcodiac River linking Riverview with Moncton will be replaced with a new bridge.

The eight-month project will see the causeway closed to traffic, leaving only the Gunningsville Bridge connecting the municipalities.

The town has held consultations with the public to come up with ways to reduce the traffic burden.

Colin Smith, the town's chief administrative officer, said this effort saw positive results.

"For the most part I was surprised," Smith said Friday.

"There was a bit more positivity. We know it's coming, [lets] all talk about what are the right things to do to come up with our plans to support local business and kind of plan ahead and not focus on the negative."

Smith said about 40 people participated in a virtual town hall and more sent in comments after.

Town of Riverview
Town of Riverview

One constant among the residents' requests was a call for good communication about the coming closure.

"A simple one that they talked about [was] shouldn't there be a big billboard right by the causeway now to say to people, 'Do you have your plan?'" said Smith.

"We still hear from people. Sometimes they don't realize that, you know, that closure is coming."

Smith said "active transportation" was an option people should consider for when the causeway closes.

"It only takes you probably 10 to 15 minutes … if you work in the downtown to get over to your employer on a bike," said Smith.

Smith said the town is also looking to promote its Riverview Rewards, a loyalty program that promotes discounts at local businesses. The goal is to persuade people to make fewer trips into Moncton and also make up for a projected fall in local business as Moncton residents avoid the traffic woes as well.

The closure is expected to start in May and wrap up in December.