The bridge between Florenceville-Bristol and Bath is currently impassable. The land under the bridge gave way during Post-Tropical Storm Arthur, and now the people in both towns have to take a lengthy detour. Bath Deputy mayor Charles McNair says this detour is not just an inconvenience, “The detour which is a twelve kilometer detour is a winding road. On a chip seal service, not designed for the volume of traffic or the weight of traffic that is presently travelling over it.”
Traffic that will soon increase because of the potato harvest. McNair says large equipment that usually would take this bridge may now have to take the detour, “It is really going to be a hazard, a major hazard, if they are asked to travel around the detour.”
He also says depending on how long the bridge is out, with Carlton North High School located in Florenceville-Bristol, it would be a large increase in traffic every morning. On the other side of the bridge Florenceville-Bristol Mayor Karl Curtis says he is keeping close tabs on the situation, due to the impact on his community, “It’s a provincial highway, i mean it really doesn’t fall upon us. Because I like to know what is happening because its not something I want closed for three months right, no its a priority and the province is working on it.”
Curtis says the process will be lengthy, due to the fact that the river may have to be diverted, It also involves multiple provincial departments. “Fisheries and oceans because of the stream, the department of transportation, I mean they have to bring in engineers to assess the damage, see if the bridge was compromised, see if they have to actually do work to the bridge itself. Or if it is just repairing the on ramp, i guess you could call it that, you know leading up to the bridge but the biggest part is to get the water so the workers can actually do the work,” says Mayor Curtis
It seems that though the repairs may take a while and a temporary fix may be required. McNair and others say that they hope at least one lane of traffic will be open soon, to allow some flow of traffic.