Posted September 26, 2019
Work calls for removing 380,000 cubic metres of material to restore channel as bridge is completed
The provincial government plans to take over city land along the Petitcodiac River to use a former landfill as a dumping ground for material dredged from the river.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure plans to dredge about 380,000 cubic metres of material from the Petitcodiac River when it realigns the river channel. The realignment is part of the plan for a bridge to replace the causeway between Moncton and Riverview.
"All that material has to go somewhere," Mike Pauley, the project manager for the bridge project with the provincial department, told Moncton councillors at a committee meeting Monday.
The province plans to dump it on top of the city's former landfill along the riverbank just east of the causeway. The work will be done in 2021, while the causeway is completely closed for four to six months, Pauley said.
Up to 126,000 cubic metres of material will be placed on the old landfill site. The material will form a layer 1½ metres to two metres deep across the site, which is now crossed by city trails.
The province plans to rebuild the trails after the work is done. It's not clear how long the trails will be closed.
The material not placed at the landfill will be used for the bridge approach embankments.
The bridge is part of $61.6-million project to replace a portion of the causeway with a bridge and restore the natural flow of the river.
Marshland east of the causeway was used as a municipal landfill until it closed in 1992.
Coun. Brian Hicks questioned whether material dumped on city land would be tested regularly to ensure it doesn't have contaminants.
"We've already [done] our testing out where our testing is going to take place, and there's no contaminants to be concerned about," Pauley said. "We would never have moved ahead with it if we thought there was."
Hicks suggested those tests might not be enough.
"It does concern me a bit because the City of Moncton over the years, there have been sites where we've done testing going in every 10 or 15 feet and missed something to the tune of maybe $500,000 for us to eventually clean up," Hicks said.
Bill Oliver, the minister of transportation, told the city in an August 2019 letter it intends to use the Public Works Act to designate the city-owned portion of the landfill as a "public work," which allows the province to enter the site and carry out the work planned.
At the committee meeting this week, councillors voted to have staff send a letter to the province outlining what Moncton wants to be done as part of the work.
A staff report said this includes a drainage report, a report from an engineer stating the province's plan won't affect the stability of the old landfill, an erosion plan, restoring the trails and planting trees and grass once the material has been deposited.
Pauley said the work will also involve building a boat launch for emergency services to access the river.