Pipes under Highway 20 and 53 intersection to be investigated

Mayor voices infrastructure concerns

By Treena Mielke

Aging infrastructure at the intersection of highways 20 and 53 is a major concern for Rimbey’s mayor.

Rick Pankiw said council has been unsuccessful in receiving provincial or federal funding for the $4.2 million project. The town’s MSI funding would not cover such a large project.

He said information received from Tagish Engineering indicated that the pipes under that intersection are made of wood. However, information received from Neville Roper at Monday’s council meeting contradicted that finding. Roper said some of the pipes are cement.

Pankiw is hopeful the long time resident is correct and plans to verify that statement after the engineers use a camera to determine exactly what the storm water pipes are made of.

Pankiw said he would go so far as to bring a proposal to council to shut the intersection down if the situation worsened and neither the provincial or federal government stepped forward to help out.

“The worse case scenario is the pipes could collapse under commercial buildings. We have to look at safety first.”

Pankiw said shutting down the intersection would inconvenience the big truck traffic, but he believes safety is more important.

“And we don’t have enough MSI funding to handle a project like that on our own.”