Wheatland County council members received a request from the Town of Drumheller to fund a portion of the Bridge 11 replacement near Wayne during the regular Wheatland County council meeting on Tuesday, July 6.
Although Bridge 11 is located within the municipal boundaries of the Town of Drumheller, at the end of Highway 10X where it climbs the Wayne Hill road and enters Wheatland County, a majority of traffic using the bridge are Wheatland County residents.
“As this bridge affects the residents of Wheatland County that utilize this area to access their residences and properties, we would like to include you in the project,” states the request letter from Drumheller Director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett.
Bridge 11 was originally built in 1931; however, bridge inspections in 2018 and 2019 showed significant concerns and a weight limit of three tonnes has been imposed.
It was recommended the bridge be taken out of service and replaced, as it had reached the end of its serviceable life.
The total cost to replace the bridge is $3,213,000 and Drumheller was awarded a total of $2,409,750--or 75 per cent of the total project budget--through the provincial Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Local Road Bridge (STIP-LRB) program. Drumheller, and its strategic partners, are on the line for the remaining 25 per cent of the project total, equalling $803,250.
A traffic study in the area confirmed approximately 65 to 75 per cent of traffic crossing Bridge 11 also uses Wayne Hill.
The town is requesting Wheatland County contribute 15 per cent of the remaining portion, totalling $120,487.50, to replace Bridge 11.
Drumheller CAO Darryl Drohomerski says, “This is a great example of intermunicipal collaboration.”
He notes the town will tender the project with construction anticipated to start in the late winter or early spring of 2022, putting the bridge out of service for the majority of 2022. Although this will have an impact on those Wheatland County residents who use the bridge, CAO Drohomerski notes there is an alternative route available.
Council was originally recommended to approve a total of $40,162; however, council moved to provide the full $120,487.50 requested by Drumheller. This was carried unanimously.