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Petitcodiac River Causeway

The Petitcodiac River Causeway is a Canadian rock and earth fill causeway crossing the Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick.

The causeway carries Highway 114 connecting Moncton on the north bank with Riverview on the south bank.

It was constructed in 1968 by the New Brunswick Department of Transportation using federal funding for provincial highway infrastructure expansion. The structure completely blocked this tidal portion of the upper reaches of the Petiticodiac River estuary, although there was a set of sluice gates installed at the southern end to permit periodic water discharge.

The resulting causeway structure acts as a dam, creating an artificial headpond on the upstream side. On the downstream side, the effects of the causeway were noticeable within several years as the river began to fill with silt, owing to the blocked water flow. By the 1980s, the famous tidal bore along the Moncton and Riverview waterfronts was reduced to a mere ripple and the river course had been severely altered through land accretion and oxbows.

Causeway Replacement

In August 2007, the New Brunswick Department of Transportation announced that it had accepted that the causeway must be replaced and that it was designing a 280 metre bridge carrying a 4-lane highway to be constructed parallel to the existing causeway on the downstream side at a cost of $70 million. The projected date for the bridge to open is sometime around 2012, after which the causeway would be removed by 2015 to return the river to its natural flow, almost 50 years after the causeway was built.

Arguments for removal

During the 1990s, a group of concerned citizens formed Petitcodiac Riverkeeper to work with the provincial and federal governments to remove the causeway and replace it with a bridge to permit the river to return to its natural flow. They contend that the causeway structure violates the federal Fisheries Act by preventing fish passage, contributing to the loss of indigenous fish species in the river.

Arguments against removal

The headpond provides recreational value and a potential resource for Tourism Development.

There are three dumps or landfill sites Located on the Petitcodiac River as well a sewage treatment plant, which may leach contaminants and toxins into the River. Those concerned state that the opening of the lake gates would create a disaster that would reach from Salisbury to Alma, destroying a sport Fishery on the lake, a Commercial Fishery on the Lake, and a Commercial Fishery Located in Alma, New Brunswick.

The concerned also state that the Fundy Bay and Petitcodiac River has some of the worlds highest tides, and with this there is also some of the world's greatest erosion that must go somewhere and this is the reason the River has been in-filling since before the causeway's construction.

Those concerned also believe that any removal of the causeway gates would in the short term appear to be working, the contaminants and silt world move into the Lake system until it completely fills in both Lake Petitcodiac and River systems permanently.

Those concerned also believe that upon the gates' opening there would be no return for Lake Petitodiac, and no salvation for the endangered species that inhabit the Lake.

46°4′10.94″N 64°48′35.61″W / 46.0697056°N 64.8098917°W / 46.0697056; -64.8098917Coordinates: 46°4′10.94″N 64°48′35.61″W / 46.0697056°N 64.8098917°W / 46.0697056; -64.8098917

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