The causeway should stay, for now at least

Jennifer Vardy Little
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Several factors would have to be taken into consideration before the causeway could be replaced with a bridge. Adam Richardson-The News
PICTOU - Just because the federal government is restoring Moncton's Petitcodiac River after 40 years of causeway-related damage, Pictou County residents shouldn't be expecting changes to the Harvey A. Veniot causeway any time soon.
Bob Christie, executive director with the Pictou Harbour Environmental Protection Project says comparing Pictou and Petitcodiac is like comparing apples and oranges.
"They're both causeways, and that's where the comparison ends," Christie said.

Several factors would have to be taken into consideration before the causeway could be replaced with a bridge. Adam Richardson-The News
PICTOU - Just because the federal government is restoring Moncton's Petitcodiac River after 40 years of causeway-related damage, Pictou County residents shouldn't be expecting changes to the Harvey A. Veniot causeway any time soon.
Bob Christie, executive director with the Pictou Harbour Environmental Protection Project says comparing Pictou and Petitcodiac is like comparing apples and oranges.
"They're both causeways, and that's where the comparison ends," Christie said.
Millions of dollars have been spent studying the Petitcodiac River and the damage done in that area. Similar study would have to be done locally before an alternative could even be considered, Christie said.
And before something like a bridge could go up, environmentalists would have to figure out what to do with the existing problems on the lagoon side of the harbour, near Lyons Brook.
Those problems include issues with raw septic and sewage being released into the lagoon, creating a fecal choliform issue, which would have to be resolved before the causeway was removed. Flushing the lagoon would remove the fecal choliform, but it would instead be swept out into Pictou Harbour, spreading the problem around.
Christie says that until the new sewage system is up and running for at least a year, opening that water up to the Northumberland Strait would not be wise. "Opening the causeway up with a bridge also opens up the question what would happen with the tens of thousands of tons of sediment that's on the Lyons Brook side," he said.
"Is that going to destroy the harbour? In the right conditions, it could push up towards ERPAS and Trenton on the incoming tide. It could destroy so much."
It could also have further-reaching effects as well.
The sediment could be swept out towards Pictou Island, where lobsters and other fish have breeding grounds. Christie fears it could destroy the habitat.
"We need to look at all the solutions we have to make the situation better, and then look at which solution has the best economic and environmental impact," he said.
"That's probably a bridge, yes, but we need to do a lot of prep work before something like that could happen."
Christie said calls for a bridge at this point are likely premature, adding that the scope of study required in this case is similar to the work done prior to opening Boat Harbour.

Geographic location: Petitcodiac River, Moncton, Lyons Brook Pictou County Pictou Island Boat Harbour

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Recent comments

  • Steve
    January 18, 2010 - 13:28

    Does anyone else no know what ERPAS is? What does that acronym stand for? Do you really expect the average reader to figure this one out?

    Is is the East River Pollution Abatement System? If it is, that is not longer correct - its the ERECC - East River Environmental Control Centre.

    And for those who still don't know that that is - it is the treatment plant in New Glasgow.

  • Brian
    January 18, 2010 - 13:27

    Miraculous Fred, try reading Dave's comments again. Can you relate to us how you came to the conclusion that Dave came to that conclusion?? Or is that too confusing for you???

  • Dave
    January 18, 2010 - 12:16

    We need that causeway GONE. So, start your dam (pun intended) studies NOW...

    Anyone who knows the areas knows the comparison to Boat Harbour is ridiculous. That lagoon is no where near as bad as what we let happen to Boat Harbour.

    Bob Christie sounds out of his depth - if he can't get the job done, get someone in who'll do it. But, get it started NOW!

  • Mary
    January 18, 2010 - 12:10

    Gosh darn it..I must be blind..I can't see anywhere in Dave's comment the word bridge . :-(
    I found the word bridge in Henery's comment though :-)

  • Brian
    January 18, 2010 - 12:10

    UNMiraculous Freddy- I would challenge you to a battle of wits but would really hate to leave you unarmed. Think alittle bit before you write you next comment please!.

  • Miraculous Fred
    January 18, 2010 - 12:07

    Mother always told me not to argue with a fool Brian,on that note,i will leave the Fool to find another person not as familiar with the subject at hand,like yourself,have a gr888 day

  • Henery
    January 18, 2010 - 12:06

    Fully agree Dave, these self appointed authorities on everything annoy me to no end. A bridge allowing passage of water, fish and perhaps in time small craft is an excellent idea. Pictou County suffers from bureaucrats who love meeting and studies then more meetings and more studies. Hire experts in the field allow them to give us the information then lets act on it.

  • Miraculous Fred
    January 18, 2010 - 12:04

    I don't know what makes you think by the article Dave that Bob Chrisite wants a Bridge or anything else done to the area in question,can you relate to us how you came to that conclusion?

  • Wishful Thinking
    January 18, 2010 - 11:57

    Humm,wunder what the Hek Dave wuz refurrin 2,ma b Marry Knose,no buddy else duz o(

  • Miraculous Fred
    January 18, 2010 - 11:38

    Brian-read the last sentence in it's entirity,i read ,If He can't get the Job done,get someone in who Will do it.
    my question was,Who said He Waqnted it done?
    Maybe that isn't to confusing for your vocabulary-i know it isn't for mine.