News | DrumhellerMail - Page #7
Last updateThu, 30 Jun 2022 12pm

Information sessions scheduled for Dalum, Wayne residents regarding Bridge 11 replacement

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The Town of Drumheller and Wheatland County will jointly host two public information sessions for residents in Wayne and Dalum to provide information on the upcoming replacement of Bridge 11 along Highway 10X this summer; doors will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. with the session to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 23 at the Wayne Community Hall, and Tuesday, June 28 at the Dalum Community Hall.
Along with providing residents information about the details of the project and next steps, representatives will also provide detour information for affected residents in both rural Wheatland County and the community of Wayne.
“Based on the prohibitive cost of installing a detour bridge, along with the limited traffic at this location, it was determined by both jurisdictions (Town of Drumheller and Wheatland County) a temporary detour bridge will not be installed for the duration of this project,” says Town of Drumheller Director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett.
Mr. Brett further notes impacted residents are being asked to detour via Highway 56 to access Drumheller or Wheatland County.
Bridge 11 was originally built in 1931, and it has been under weight restrictions of three tonnes since 2018 due to significant concerns found during inspections in both 2018 and 2019.
Although Bridge 11 is within Drumheller’s municipal boundaries and is owned by the Town, a traffic study in 2021 found some 65 to 70 per cent of users were rural Wheatland County residents using the bridge via the Wayne Hill road.
“One of Wheatland County’s strategic priorities is partnership,” says Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link. “This collaboration with the Town of Drumheller and the Government of Alberta to replace Bridge 11 is an example of how we can work together to benefit both Wheatland County residents as well as the region.”
As the province has increased the designed flow rate of the Rosebud River, the replacement bridge will need to be built 1.5 metres higher; additional costs for this were factored into the project planning.
It is estimated the replacement will cost some $3.2 million, and the province approved funding through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program, Local Road Bridge (STIP-LRB) grant to cover some 75 per cent of this cost.
In July 2021, the Town approached neighbouring Wheatland County to request contributions towards the remaining 25 per cent portion; Wheatland County approved the request and committed a total of $120,487.50, or about four per cent of the project cost.

Elnora man charged in fatal Highway 21 collision

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An Elnora man is facing charges in connection with a collision on Highway 21, which killed two young people.
Three Hills RCMP was on the scene of a collision Friday night, June 17, around 10 p.m. on Highway 21 north of Trochu.
Investigation revealed two cars were northbound on Highway 21 when the second rear-ended the first, causing it to drive across the road where it was hit by an oncoming semi-truck.
The two occupants of the first car, a 20-year-old female and a 21-year-old male, were declared deceased at the scene.
Richard Douglas Bell, 42, of Elnora, has been charged with two counts of dangerous operation causing death, two counts of impaired operation causing death, impaired operation of a motor vehicle, and refusal to provide a sample.
Richard Bell has been remanded into custody and will be appearing in Drumheller Provincial Court on June 24, 2022.

New Morrin School project breaks ground

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A new chapter of the story of Morrin school opened on Friday as the ground was broken for the new school.
Representatives from Morrin School, the Village, Starland County, Prairie Land Regional School Divison (PLSD), Friends of Morrin School Council (FMSC), contractors and Alberta Infrastructure gathered at Morrin School on Friday, June 17, to ceremonially start construction.
“On behalf of the Prairie Land Board of Trustees, I convey how excited we are to see this project begin. The positive impact this new school is going to have on our community, students and staff for years to come is going to be incredible,” said Trustee for Morrin Ken Macfarlane.
The go-ahead for the new school was announced in November of 2019 by Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, and the project has come together quickly. It was not long after the announcement the FMSC was struck to fundraise for the project with the aim of making it a positive educational facility, but also a space for the entire community. They were successful.
“We have had quite the incredible journey over the last two years,” said FMSC President Julie Robison.
“Over two years ago, we decided we wanted to set a goal to raise $608,300 to increase the footprint of the new school. Not only have we met that goal, but we continued to exceed that, currently have raised $654,170.13.”
She noted they were able to raise these funds during a global pandemic, which prohibited in-person meetings, fundraising and events.
“What we knew about this community is we are really capable of amazing things. That the relationships, the connections, and the love that exists are what made this fundraising successful.
Through this fundraising, they were able to increase the footprint of the school by 1,668 square feet in total. The gymnasium space was increased by 23 percent, the library space by 50 per cent and the educational and community space by 65 per cent.
Prairie Land worked closely with Alberta Infrastructure, and the project came together. In October 2020, Group2 Architecture and Interior Design from Red Deer were announced as the prime consultants on the Morrin School build. Shunda Consulting and Construction Management Ltd from Red Deer was awarded the general contractor bid in late April 2022. It is the same builder as Delia School.
Principal Don Yavis is excited to see the project go ahead.
“Now you are going to have this big beautiful school that is going to be here for generations and generations of kids, and that’s the key,” said Yavis. “It is great for four communities, we draw from Morrin, Munson, Rumsey and Rowley, and the area south and all the farms around here. Hopefully when it is done, it is going to attract more students and increase our size.”
PLSD has seen great progress with its facilities with the remodel of Hanna School, and the opening of a new Delia School just last year. PLSD Superintendent, Cam McKeage, gives credit to the board and staff.
“It is the vision and the leadership of the trustees and the hard work of our staff. They want to make sure rural education is second to none and we don’t just want to replicate it, we want to innovate, and I think that is the mindset of people in Prairie Land. We want to celebrate rural, we want to make sure we are leading the way for the sake of our kids and the families in our communities.”


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