Fire destroys multi-use bridge in Inkerman
Converted train bridge part of Sentier Trails system
A converted train bridge that is used year round by walkers, cyclists, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles on the Acadian Peninsula was destroyed by fire Thursday.
The kilometre-long bridge at Inkerman is part of the Sentier Trail system and connects the southern part of the peninsula to the northern part.
Local fire departments were on the scene, working to douse the flames as many local people looked on.
Serge Dugas learned of the fire while in Montreal on his way back from a cycling trip in France. The general manager of La Véloroute de la Péninsule acadienne says the loss of the bridge will have a huge impact for the many users.
"We are trying to develop a long section of the cycling path in the Acadian Peninsula and part of the trail where the bridge is is part of our plan to build the trail on either side of that, so it would be more appropriate for cycling."
Dugas said he has no idea what losing the bridge will mean for the proposal his organization has submitted to government to have the cycling paths resurfaced.
"I think those kinds of infrastructures are not insured, so that will be difficult for the government to rebuild quickly because we are talking probably many millions of dollars to rebuild that bridge," he said.
"From what I see, it's a total loss."
Fire destroys multi-use bridge in Inkerman: <a href="https://t.co/8XOsuTQJ0M">https://t.co/8XOsuTQJ0M</a> <a href="https://t.co/79nnMj5MZC">pic.twitter.com/79nnMj5MZC</a>—@CBCNB
The bridge was modified seven or eight years ago to put in a higher span to allow boats to go under it.
"For us the season is finished, but for snowmobiles particularly and [mountain bikers], there's a winter season coming soon and they will need that bridge to go to the other side of the river."
Daniel Landry, an employee with the City of Caraquet who oversees economic development and tourism, said the bridge is a major piece of infrastructure for the region.
"It's very sad. It's a big loss."
CBC News has contacted the Northeast RCMP for more information on the fire.
More to come