Petitcodiac Riverkeeper group proposes name for new bridge between Moncton and Riverview

·2 min read
Michelle Knockwood, an Indigenous land conservation officer for the Fort Folly First Nation, Krysta Cowling, executive director of Petitcodiac Riverkeeper and Riverkeeper president Ronald Babin hold a sign with a proposed name for the new bridge between Moncton and Riverview. (Kate Letterick/CBC News - image credit)
Michelle Knockwood, an Indigenous land conservation officer for the Fort Folly First Nation, Krysta Cowling, executive director of Petitcodiac Riverkeeper and Riverkeeper president Ronald Babin hold a sign with a proposed name for the new bridge between Moncton and Riverview. (Kate Letterick/CBC News - image credit)

The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper group has come up with a proposed name for the new bridge being built to replace the causeway between Moncton and Riverview, and it's hoping the public will support the choice.

Pont Petigotiag Bridge is meant to represent the Mi'kmaw, Acadian and Anglophone cultures.

Krysta Cowling, the executive director of the Riverkeeper group, says the name reflects the communities along the shores of the river.

"It was really a natural progression to have this name for the bridge as Pont Petigotiag Bridge, so it's really something that represents these communities coming together and working together and it really reflects this history and culture of the river." she said.

Michelle Knockwood is an Indigenous land conservation officer for the Fort Folly First Nation.

"Francophone, Anglophone and First Nations people have always worked together since contact, so I mean us working together now is important because it's going to take more than one person, one group to make the effort and the push to get this done." she said.

Construction on the new bridge that will replace the Petitcodiac River causeway shown in December 2020.
Construction on the new bridge that will replace the Petitcodiac River causeway shown in December 2020. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Knockwood explained the name's meaning.

"Bends like a bow. The name Petigotiag means bend like a bow, so it's pronounced the same, the t's are pronounced as d's in Mi'kmaw language and the g's are pronounced as k's," she said.

Riverkeeper's president Ronald Babin said the name was carefully thought out.

"We're hoping that, you know, people in the community at large will recognize this and see the value of naming this bridge," he said.

A new steel girder bridge is currently being built to replace the causeway, constructed in 1968. The causeway gates were opened back in 2010, to let the river flow more freely. Work to replace the structure started in 2017.

Babin says it's been a long struggle to restore the river's ecosystem.

The group has been sent the proposed name along to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure for consideration.

The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper organization has created several graphics featuring the proposed name.
The Petitcodiac Riverkeeper organization has created several graphics featuring the proposed name.(Kate Letterick/CBC News)

Jennifer Boudreau, a communications officer of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the department has received many requests regarding possible names for the bridge.

"No decision will be made until the construction is finalized." Boudreau wrote in an email statement.

Krysta Cowling hopes people will embrace the proposed name.

"Today is really about a call to action to the public so we're putting forward this name and our goal is to have members of the public reach out to government representatives to help show that there's public support for this so that this name will be chosen," she said.