Truckers call for end to Saint John Harbour Bridge rift

DIEPPE, N.B. — The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association is urging a resolution to a standoff between Ottawa and the Saint John Harbour Bridge, which, if it continues, could lead to truck restrictions of the crossing.

In a press release, the APTA says the bridge is "a vital link for our carriers and some of their key markets.

"Essentially, traffic destined to the USA through the State of Maine’s new border crossing in St. Stephen could be impacted if use of the Harbour Bridge is restricted."

The bridge commission had been pressing the federal government for funding for $35 million, needed, the bridge authority says, to finance essential repairs to the decking and walls.

Without the money before the upcoming construction season, the bridge authority warned, weight restrictions could be applied to the 40-year-old. This would force truck traffic on to alternate routes causing delays en route to the border.

The APTA says any disruption, speed restrictions, load restrictions or lane closures would pose huge concerns for carriers from "a safety and environmental standpoint."

"Carriers would need to find alternate lanes or routes to get to destination and this would result in longer trips using non-traditional lanes and more fuel usage. This would prove to be very costly to the industry."

More recently, the Saint John Harbour Bridge Authority announced it has secured a private lender. But the federal government needs to approve the plan.

According to reports, Ottawa says it needs more information before it can decide whether to allow the loan.

Last month, plans to shut down the bridge for one day to protest the lack of an agreement was defeated by city council.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.