History of the New Brunswick Trans-Canada from Fredericton to Moncton



East of Fredericton

The wide Saint John River is the dominant feature of central New Brunswick The old #2 crossed the Saint John on the Princess Margaret Bridge and continued on the north (east) bank of the river. This route is now renumbered as 105 (which used to just extend wet of Fredericton on the north /east bank of the river. The new Highway 2 route, opened in 2003, following the Route 7 path, taking advantage of flat, open and undeveloped rural land. It plies its was south of Oromocto, and crosses the Saint John just west of where Grand Lake drains into the Saint John. From this point, until the intersection with #10 south to Sussex, it follows the old Trans-Canada Highway route along the south shore of Grand Lake.

From the #10, it shortcuts though New Brunswick forest country in a relatively straight (for hilly terrain) line toward Moncton. This new route has shaved over 30 kilometres from the old highway, and saved truckers from having to drive on urban roads through the community of Sussex (incidentally, leaving Calgary and Charlottetown the last two cities where this is the case)

View of Grand Lake After crossing the Saint John River at Fredericton, the highway then followed the river's east bank just metres above its water level (frequently flooded in spring), the route continued south to Jemseg where the highway turned east along the southeast shore of Grand Lake to Youngs Cove Road where the highway turned south to Coles Island and on to Sussex.

At Sussex the highway turned east again and passed by Petitcodiac and then by Salisbury. East of Salisbury, Route 2 followed local roads over a series of low hills north of Moncton, cresting at Lutes Mountain, before descending and following a controlled access section bypassing the city and Dieppe, skirting the edge of the Memramcook River valley and on to Sackville, then Aulac, and finally the N.B.-N.S. inter-provincial boundary.

Oromocto: CFB Gagetown

In 1952, the largest military training area in the British Commonwealth (about 1100 sq km) was built on expropriated land formerly used for farms and forests. Almost overnight, the town was built with all facilities needed to support the military, its troops and their families. Since then, CFB Suffield, just northwest of Medicine Hat, Alberta, used for live fire exercises and tank training, is larger at 2700 sq km.

Sussex Bypass

To shorten the distance for truckers across New Brunswick, and to reduce truck traffic through Sussex, a new alignment between Moncton and Jemseg was built between 2000-2004 to new 4-lane standards. The Fredricton International Airport, serving the province's capital city Fredericton and CFB Gagetown was built adjacent to the base. This substantially reduced the level of accidents in this section of the Trans-Canada.

n 2001. a new alignment of the Trans-Canada Highway opened, replacing the old section between River Glade (just west of Moncton) and Sussex. The re-alignment also shortened the total length of Route 2 through New Brunswick by 40 km (25 mi).

Sussexc Bypass Route
The road was designed with a 500 ft right-of-way and had extensive wildlife fencing and underpasses, rumble strips along emergency breakdown lanes, paved emergency U-turn areas, sensors beneath the asphalt for monitoring truck weights as well as local weather and road surface conditions, extensive guard rails and reflectors. The new segment of the highway included two major bridges: the Saint John River High Level Crossing and the nearby Jemseg River Bridge. I

A portion of the old TCH alignment from Sussex toward Fredericton has been re-designated as Route 10 and a re-aligned interchange has been built at Sussex.

This 225 km (140 mi) four-lane, controlled-access expressway was originally intended to be privately financed and built, at a cost of $1 billion, with the builder charging tolls for a 25-year period before the provincial government would gain control of the highway. In the late 1990s, an agreement was signed.

The toll issue was not without controversy and among other issues, led to a change of government. The highway was built, but tolls were removed from most portions of the highway before they opened. This portion of the privately built realignment of the Trans-Canada Highway has a hidden toll calculated by sensors in the pavement, to be charged to the provincial government, so motorists do not directly pay for their highway usage.


Sussex Bypass

Moncton Bypass

See the world's highest tides along the Bay of Fundy
From the Sussex highway junction with #10 east, the highway passed by Petitcodiac and then by Salisbury. East of Salisbury, Route 2 followed local roads over a series of low hills north of Moncton, cresting at Lutes Mountain, before descending and following a controlled access section bypassing the city and Dieppe, skirting the edge of the Memramcook River valley and on to Sackville, then Aulac, and finally the NB-NS provincial boundary.

The first bypass was built in the 1950s, was around Moncton, between southwest of Salisbury and Sackville. The old road through Moncton became Route 2A, then Route 6 in 1965, and is now Route 15.

The more recent 4-lane bypass skirts to the north of Moncton, and extends east of Dieppe.

Moncton: the River

Hopewell Rocks in Fundy National Park
Moncton is "The Hub" of the Martimes, being the geographical and transportation centre. Moncton is also the centre of the province's Acadian community, with the Unoversite de Moncton and the Acadian Folk Museum, with its collection of Acadian artifacts.

Moncton is a great place to watch the Fundy Tidal Bore race up the Peticodiac River, especially from Bore park in the city's centre. The city is also the major jumping-off point to Fundy National Park, via Route 114, or for hikers taking the Fundy Trail. Along the way, you will see Hopewell Rocks, the world's largest flowerpots at the mouth of the Petitcodiac River. {NOTE: in 2015 one or more of the "flowerpots" have collapsed due to erosion]

Other Resources

Fredericton to Moncton itinerary NewBrunswick Highways Map 50 Years of Trans-Canada

More Trans-Canada Highway History

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