May 27, 2010
COYTOWN (CNB) - The provincial government is investing in 29 km of new wildlife fencing along the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 2). The Department of Transportation has issued a tender for the work and installation will start this summer.
Transportation Minister Denis Landry made the announcement today while visiting the site where the fencing is to be installed.
"The location between the Burpee Brook area to the Saint John River exceeds our hot spot criteria for collisions between motorists and wildlife," said Landry. "This fencing will help intercept moose that cross the road from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown to Babbits Meadows. Once the competitive bid process is finalized, the department will award a contract for this area to be fenced."
Enhanced signage with flashing lights will be installed on Route 2 between Oromocto and Burpee Brook. Signs will also be erected on Route 102 near the Village of Gagetown interchange.
Landry said results have proven the effectiveness of wildlife fencing. In 2009, there were no reported motor vehicle collisions with wildlife on Route 7 between Geary and Saint John in areas where fences had been erected. During the five previous years, there had been 44 such collisions reported.
Earlier this spring, the provincial government surpassed a commitment to install 300 km of wildlife fencing within four years. Since 2007, the province has invested more than $25 million in wildlife mitigation initiatives including fencing, animal underpasses, brush-clearing, enhanced signage with flashing lights and public education.
"Between now and October is the peak season when wild animals leave the forests to escape biting insects and go into ditches to feed on road salt and vegetation," Landry said. "I urge motorists to be extra vigilant by following these safety reminders. Doing so may help get them home to their families and destinations without incident."
New Brunswick averages 380 moose/vehicle collisions a year, most occur at dusk.
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Holland, communications, Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634.