Amherst, NS — Ottawa is spending $350,000 to study a critical transportation link connecting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that could be washed away by rising sea levels and storm surges.
Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey said the study will look at the effect of climate change on centuries-old dikes and key infrastructure in the Chignecto Isthmus Trade Corridor, including the Trans-Canada Highway, the Canadian National rail line and electricity transmission lines.
A statement today says the study will involve an engineering assessment of existing infrastructure, consultation and options to protect the corridor, which carries an estimated $50 million worth of trade each day.
The initiative comes amid increasing calls for something to be done to maintain the land link between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by raising and reinforcing dikes at the narrow isthmus that joins the provinces.
The NDP in Nova Scotia said the governing Liberals should spend at least $10 million per year on maintaining the dikes in each of the next five years.
Last fall, the mayor of Amherst also raised concerns about the condition of the historic Acadian dikes and their ability to hold back rising sea levels occurring due to climate change.
Mayor David Kogon has said sea levels are projected to rise in the Bay of Fundy over the next two decades to the point where the Isthmus of Chignecto will flood even when there is no storm surge.
The area where flooding could occur includes 20 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway, 20 kilometres of CN Rail, 35 kilometres of electricity lines and 35 kilometres of dikes.