Province dedicates $200K to Inkerman bridge design, committee says

The provincial government has committed $200,000 to design a new recreational bridge in the northeastern village of Inkerman, according to the committee dedicated to rebuilding the old train bridge.

Glenda Robichaud, the chair of the Inkerman Bridge Committee, said the government also accepted a three-year plan to rebuild the wooden bridge.

"I just can't wait to see the new bridge design and we can't wait to … be a partner in this adventure," Robichaud said.

The old kilometre-long bridge connecting the southern part of the Acadian Peninsula to the north was destroyed by arson in 2017. It was part of the New Brunswick Trail system and was often used by snowmobile and ATV enthusiasts as well as by cyclists and pedestrians.

Robichaud is encouraged by the funding news from Tourism Minister Robert Gauvin because tourism in Inkerman has suffered since the bridge was destroyed.

The village lost the connection to the northern peninsula, and now people often pass by Inkerman when travelling on the trail system.

"It's a need here in Inkerman," Robichaud said. "We want that bridge back."

The community has also been fundraising through Chase the Ace games. Its goal was to raise $500,000 for the reconstruction, but the committee has already reached $2 million.

Rene Landry/Radio Canada

Robichaud said the committee is willing to offer the money to the bridge's construction if it's needed.

Robichaud said construction will likely cost several million dollars.

"Last time that I spoke with the minister, he said it was $8.1 million but that the design isn't [done] yet," Robichaud said.

"So I don't know. We're going to wait and see what they say to us."