Thousands of runners set to converge on Confederation Bridge
Guardian file photo
This photo from The Guardian Archives shows walkers who took part in the first Terry Fox run on the Confederation Bridge in 2005.
Travel Alert... The Confederation Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic Sunday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.When thousands of people head to the Confederation Bridge for the Terry Fox Run on Sunday, organizers say they will be ready.
This year marks the 30th anniversary for the fundraiser and will give runners a chance to cross the bridge that’s normally closed to pedestrians.
Laurel Lea, Confederation Bridge marketing and community affairs co-ordinator, said the organizers expect to see a similar number of people running when the run was on the bridge in 2005.
“Somewhere in the range of 14,000," she said.
The Confederation Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic Sunday from 6 a.m. tp 1 p.m. and the run itself will take place from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., she said.
“It gives us a one-hour buffer to set up and tear down what is going to be on the bridge.”
Besides thousands of runners, there will be water stations, first aid stations, garbage cans and bathrooms set up at intervals in one lane along the bridge, which will allow emergency vehicles to cross if necessary.
But even before the runners get there, the RCMP will be at work on both sides of the bridge to check run registration documents and direct traffic to the parking areas.
On the P.E.I. side, RCMP officers will man a check stop at the lights on Dickie Road and the Trans-Canada Highway in Borden-Carleton to direct drivers into the parking areas at Gateway Village while Mounties on the New Brunswick side will direct cars to the parking area in Cape Tormentine, Lea said.
Lea said from there, shuttles will take anyone who plans to run the length of the bridge to the opposite side so they can end on the same side as they parked.
“It just alleviates the traffic tie-up at the end.”
On the New Brunswick side, drivers will park in a big field that has been staked off and drivers on the Island side will park in the Gateway Village green space instead of the paved areas, she said.
“The expectation is there will be ample parking.”
There is no charge for parking or the shuttles.
As for safety during the run, Lea said there will be two ambulances at the ready, ski patrol will set up first aid stations every 1.5 kilometres and the Borden-Carleton fire department will have 10 first responders waiting at the end of the bridge.
“We’re covered in first aid.”
To prepare drivers for the pending bridge closure, electronic signs are going up on the roads leading to both ends of the bridge so they will know they can’t get across the bridge before they get to it, she said.
“Instead of going all the way to the bridge, they may delay their trip a little.”
Lea said she didn’t expect to see many people waiting for the bridge to reopen because there were only 17 cars in line to cross when the Terry Fox Run was on the bridge in 2005.
“It wasn’t a very big issue at all.”
Registration for the run is open until 11:59 p.m. Friday at www.terryfox.org and all runners will need to have their official confirmation documents.