Footbridge at Le Pays de la Sagouine damaged by ice

The striking footbridge at Le Pays de la Sagouine in Bouctouche has been damaged by winter weather.

A section of the wooden structure is twisted and leaning.

Luc LeBlanc, the artistic director and general manager of the Acadian cultural attraction, said this is the third year in a row that the boardwalk has been damaged.

"It's unfortunate this has happened, and it's because of the ice and everything," he said. "A barge is arriving on location next week to fix the damage."

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LeBlanc said work was already planned last year.

The federal and provincial government announced $1.5 million in July 2018 to repair the 27-year-old bridge.

"The work was delayed by weather conditions this winter, but the repair will begin next week," he said.

Le Pays de la Sagouine is a theatrical tourist attraction based on the play La Sagouine, written by Antonine Maillet in 1971.

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Bouctouche Mayor Roland Fougère, who called the attraction an an important part of the town's economy, said the area experienced a difficult winter.

"Last winter was not a normal winter," he said. "We had a flash freeze and it's not good for a bridge like we have there."

He said this will be a big year for the attraction because the Acadian World Congress, another important Acadian event, is being held in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

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"With the Congrès mondial we have this summer, I know it's going to attract a lot more people here in Bouctouche and La Sagouine will be an attraction important for the tourists coming."

LeBlanc said the damage will not prevent the opening of the Le Pays de la Sagouine in late June.

The organization will hold a briefing on May 22 to announce an action plan to address the future of the footbridge.