$15M bike trail to connect Acadian Peninsula by 2018
Existing bike trails are already well-used, according to organizer, enhance tourism
By 2018, a bicycle trail, or véloroute, could connect the entire Acadian Peninsula, from Grande-Anse to Miscou Island and south to Neguac, crossing 14 municipalities using the NB Trails system, and newly-constructed bike paths.
Serge Dugas, the sole employee of Veloroute de la Peninsule Acadienne Inc., launched the idea in 2005 with a feasibility study. Construction began in 2010.
"It worked that we get the towns to invest and they look for help from provincial and federal loans or subsidies. In between Shippagan and Lameque, we got the provincial government to pay."
Dugas, the general manager of the organization, is hoping for more provincial and federal funding to kick in to reach the project's goal of $15 million.
"The next step is try to do the whole veloroute route, which is the Acadian Peninsula," said Dugas.
The second step in the plan is to reconstruct existing NB Trails and bring them up to par.
"The other phase is to go to municipalities that don't have the trail made yet, to help them know what it will be and how much it will cost and from there they will try to find money to build it," he said.
"The other phase is on the road. The paved shoulders and sharing, and the signs on the road."
The véloroute is even featured in the town's tourism brochure. Community support is strong for the véloroute project.
"They know it will be a good thing for the region. It's good for the economy, it's good for the health, it's good for the environment, and it's a peninsula project. It will bring people together to visit," said Dugas.