Action being taken on recreational trail bridge

Sherry Martell
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TATAMAGOUCHE - Officials are aiming to reopen a main route for recreational vehicles in Tatamagouche by mid-summer.
A tender has been issued to have major reconstruction work done to the French River bridge, closed to all traffic since September.
"We are starting action," said Robert Gould, spokesman for the Tatamagouche and Area Trails
"I'm pretty confident we'll get it repaired this summer."
The 74-metre span is a vital structure in the recreation trail, offering users safe passage from Cumberland County to Pictou County along an abandoned railway bed.
While all three of the structure's piers require attention, the centre pier has been given priority status because 75 per cent of the original construction material has eroded away.
Gould said the association does not know how much it will cost to repair the 96-year-old span, but once they receive estimates for the repairs from submitted tenders they will move forward with securing funding to carry out the work.
The association has been working closely with the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environment and the Department of Fisheries to organize the improvement project.
The work must be carried out between June 1 and the end of September so it will have little impact on salmon stocks in the river.
Gould said the bridge is an important economic link between year-round recreational vehicle riders, and a number of local businesses.
The association is also aiming to have the work done as soon as possible to have the section of trail approved by the Trans Canada Trail, set to complete the coast-to-coast trail by 2010.

Organizations: Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environment, Department of Fisheries Trans Canada Trail

Geographic location: TATAMAGOUCHE, French River, Cumberland County Pictou County

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