The Nova Scotia government has awarded a $12.6-million contract to build a new bridge in Cape Breton to a New Brunswick company.

Fredericton-based Caldwell and Ross Ltd. is expected to complete work on the two-lane bridge on Keltic Drive in Sydney River by December 2014.


A contract has beem awarded to replace the Sydney River bridge. It will be torn down next week. (George Mortimer/CBC)

The bridge will also include a four-metre-wide lane for pedestrians and cyclists.

Work to demolish the existing bridge is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

A five-kilometre detour has been established for vehicle traffic and a short-run shuttle will be in place for pedestrians while the work takes place.

"It's for pedestrians and cyclists and people who are using wheelchairs and moms and dads with baby carriages, that kind of thing," said Maurice Smith, Nova Scotia's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

"Our contract is with CBRM transit so they've stepped forward and they're going to be doing the service for us. It'll be a free service, running on the half-hour for 12 hours a day."

Smith said the shuttle will run from the Coxheath area on one side of the bridge to the Keltic Plaza shopping centre on the other side.