April 29, 2010
RIVIÈRE-VERTE (CNB) - The provincial government has surpassed the goal in the Charter for Change to erect 300 km of wildlife fencing across the province within four years.
Premier Shawn Graham and Transportation Minister Denis Landry will meet with construction workers and will help connect a section of wildlife fencing today along Route 2, the Trans-Canada Highway, between Edmundston (Saint-Basile area) and Quisibis River.
"The provincial government has shown leadership in working to reduce moose/vehicle collisions," said Graham. "When this 29 km project is completed in June, 324 km of fence will have been installed since September 2006. Other actions that the government has taken include installing animal underpasses, enhanced warning signs with flashing lights and more than 1,200 km of proactive brush-clearing in hotspot areas that cannot be fenced due to access control issues."
The Madawaska County project is being carried out by Eastern Fence Ltd., of Moncton, which won the $1.1-million tender.
As part of the 2010-11 Department of Transportation capital budget, another 43 km of wildlife fencing will be installed. The projects are on Route 11 from the Val D'Amour interchange area to Route 17 (Duffs Lake region) and on Route 2 south of Oromocto. In addition, 104 km of wildlife fencing will be installed between Saint John and St. Stephen as part of the New Brunswick Route 1 Gateway Project.
"More than $25 million has been invested during the last four years to control animal movement, improve sightlines and better educate drivers through our Think Moose campaign," said Landry. "The fact that jurisdictions like Newfoundland, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Maine have contacted us for information on our wildlife management program shows New Brunswick has set an example when it comes to highway safety."
Landry said that motorists should protect themselves and their families in the coming weeks when moose-vehicle collisions are at their peak.
"Each year, more than 300 New Brunswickers are involved in collisions with moose," said Landry. "About 85 per cent of these collisions occur between May and October, especially at night when visibility is reduced and these large animals are hardest to see. That is why we urge drivers to reduce their speeds, be alert and watch for the presence of wildlife on or near our highways."
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Holland, communications, Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634; Chrystiane Malalley, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286.