Moncton on the hook for Petitcodiac River erosion costs
Moncton must cover the full costs of the Petitcodiac River banks erosion by itself, the province says.
The river has pushed the banks of Bore Park back 20 metres in the last two years. Engineers have warned if it erodes another two feet, the park’s lookout could fall into the river.
The province offered $430,000 worth of rocks to stem the erosion, but city councillors rejected it.
Claude Williams, the minister of transportation, said he'll respect that decision. But he said the city will have to sign a deal agreeing to cover all future costs due to erosion. Only then will the province drop its plans.
“It will be clear if there is any consequences in the future, it will be the sole responsibility of the City of Moncton,” he said.
Those costs include damage to the nearby walking trails and boardwalk. There could also be higher insurance costs and expenses totalling hundreds of thousand of dollars to protect the archaeological sites that are appearing as the river continues to erode the banks.
Moncton councillors have ignored their own experts, the province and two engineering firms. All urged the city to put rocks along Bore Park to stop it washing away.
Instead, the city opted to listen to an engineer hired by the environmental group Riverkeeper. That engineer said fears of erosion and high costs are exaggerated.
Riverkeeper said the erosion will stop on its own when it finds the natural banks of the river.
Coun. Dawn Arnold said she would rather let the river "flow free" than alter it with rocks.