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Parts of the river, shown on the map in red, are closed so that the province can fix eroded parts. (City of Moncton) (City of Moncton)

The Department of Supply and Services will begin reinforcing the banks of the Petitcodiac River in Moncton after roughly 100 metres of shorefront has eroded.

The erosion has threatened the public trail on the riverbank, as well as the Rogers Communications parking lot.

A yellow wooden barrier is currently all that protects people from the river flowing beside the city's trail.

The provincial government will spend $350,000 adding large rocks, which are also known as rip-rap, along about 100 metres of riverbank.

Supply and Services Minister Claude Williams said the department is overseeing the work to protect and restore the riverbank.

"Yes, this is a situation that this spring we knew we had to address," he said.

Williams said the original studies conducted by the provincial government identified areas, such as the shoreline, that might need extra protection after the causeway gates were opened.

The section of trail being worked on by the provincial government will be closed from Sept. 26 until at least Oct. 15.

Now, that the gates to the Petitcodiac causeway, which links Moncton to Riverview, have been opened for a year and half, the erosion has turned out to be worse than expected.

The decision to open the causeway gates was extremely controversial. The causeway was built in 1968 between Moncton and Riverview and the gates were opened in April 2010.

Project is ‘a great success’

Marco Morency, the Petitcodiac Riverkeeper, an environmental group in Moncton, said the province can protect the trail and the condos built just behind them from disappearing.

"That's the only place I'm aware of. Everywhere else erosion is just happening on the riverbed and not affecting any infrastructure. So if that's the only place, I think it's a great success for the project," Morency said.

Morency said the erosion has proven helpful in other ways. Storm sewers that used to be continually plugged up with silt are now free flowing.

Those who oppose the opening of the gates say this could just be the beginning of the many problems they feared would happen.