Nov. 19, 2005
MONCTON (CNB) - A ceremony celebrating community and heritage marked the official opening of the new Gunningsville Bridge today.
Premier Bernard Lord joined Transportation Minister Paul Robichaud, Moncton Mayor Lorne Mitton and Riverview Mayor Clarence Sweetland at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, officially opening the $28-million structure. Also in attendance were Energy Minister Bruce Fitch, Tourism and Parks Minister Joan MacAlpine-Stiles and Public Safety Minister Wayne Steeves.
"This bridge will be a lasting symbol of the spirit of co-operation between the communities of Greater Moncton and the Province of New Brunswick," Lord said. "Its pedestrian walkway, officially named today as Veterans' Walk, will serve as a reminder of the sacrifices by veterans for the freedom of all Canadians."
"This beautiful new four-lane bridge will mean a vast improvement in traffic flow in Greater Moncton, and will bring increased prosperity to the entire region," Robichaud said.
The 425-metre-long bridge spans the Petitcodiac River, connecting the City of Moncton and the Town of Riverview. The bridge is unique in New Brunswick, in that it has a four-metre-wide sidewalk and two observation decks. Its concrete barrier walls and abutments have been textured and stained to give the impression of stone. It also has custom-designed black decorative railings and light standards with fluted poles and decorative scrollwork.
Riverview and Moncton each contributed $750,000 towards the enhancements.
"The new Gunningsville Bridge is strategically important for the future growth of the Town of Riverview," Sweetland said. "It will encourage both residential and commercial development in our community. We are proud of the unique esthetics of the new bridge. The design is a testament to the pride we have in our communities and our vision for the future."
"This is an exciting time for Greater Moncton," Mitton said. "This wonderful new transportation corridor linking the communities of Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe will become a landmark in our region, and will have a major impact on our economy and environment."
The official opening lasted almost the entire day, with activities organized by the province and the municipalities. Running enthusiasts participated in an official run from Dieppe along the trail system and over the bridge into Riverview. Refreshments were served by the Riverview Lions Club, sponsored by the municipalities and the Department of Transportation. The public was welcome to walk freely on the bridge from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and listen to recorded music by New Brunswick artists.
The official opening ceremony was followed by a procession of antique fire trucks, one from each of the municipalities of Greater Moncton, and antique cars.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Chisholm Pothier, press secretary, Office of the Premier, 506-453-2144; Tracey Burkhardt, director of communications, Transportation, 506-453-5634; Colette McLaughlin, communications officer, City of Moncton, 506-877-7745; Brenda Orchard, Town of Riverview, 506-387-2022.