Recent damage caused by a large piece of machinery is visible along Bridge 00627 (the Pink Bridge) near Bentley.

Lacombe County taking steps to address Pink Bridge damage issues

Lacombe County councillors have taken steps to resolve a damaged bridge issue affecting traffic in an area south of Bentley.

  • Aug. 19, 2014 4:00 p.m.

by Stuart Fullarton

Black Press

Lacombe County councillors have taken steps to resolve a damaged bridge issue affecting traffic in an area south of Bentley.

Bridge 00627 (referred to by the county as the Pink Bridge), was heavily damaged by a large piece of machinery in May.

The damage was so severe that the bridge was promptly closed to traffic. A number of inspections and assessments followed, and it was found that damage was more extensive than initially thought.

After completing a Level II inspection of the bridge, Bow Valley Bridge Services determined that the bridge must, for the time being, remain closed.

Lacombe County Commissioner Terry Hager described the nature of the damage.

“It was a piece of equipment that went through and just caught onto it, and unfortunately, as it went through the bridge, it caught onto a number of locations and kept on doing damage,” he said. “The structural integrity of the bridge has been jeopardized.”

At council’s July 24 meeting, Hager was given authorization to negotiate a cash settlement with the insurance company, and to investigate alternatives for the bridge’s repair or replacement.

Repairs could include everything from straightening and painting, to removing steel pieces and putting new ones in, he said.

“It’s quite a variety as to what would have to be done.”

Hager said the closure has affected traffic in the area — before the incident, an estimated 133 vehicles used the bridge every day.

Area drivers, however, have been understanding for the most part, he added.

“People seem to understand and have not complained too much, although the longer it stays closed, the more we’ll hear from it. Certainly, it is an inconvenience for those individuals in the immediate area needing to get across the river.”

The future of the bridge depends on the outcome of insurance negotiations, said Hager. Options to be presented could include repairing the bridge, permanently closing it, performing only minimum repairs on it, performing only urgent repairs on it, or designing and building a new bridge altogether.

The latter option would come with an estimated $2.5 million price tag. A new bridge could be constructed by fall 2015, according to a county estimate.

Assistant Public Works Supervisor Brandon Maier noted in a report for council that there are several factors to take into consideration when discussing the bridge’s replacement.

“The complicating factor is we won’t really know the complete cost of replacing the bridge until the design is complete and we see how much equipment time is required to do the associated road work and if the bids that we receive are close to the estimate,” he said.

The county’s Bridge Management Plan marked the bridge for replacement in 2013, based on its initial life expectancy. Recent inspections, however, showed it could have been capable of lasting until 2020.

The county notes that the issue with this particular bridge was brought to them “a few years earlier than anticipated”.

Another bridge in the vicinity, the ‘Green Bridge’, is also nearing the end of its anticipated lifespan, although it still remains in service. That bridge is scheduled for replacement in 11 years, despite being older than the ‘Pink Bridge’.

“That’s just through normal wear and tear,” said Hagar. “It’s nearing the end of its useful life.”


Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ice fishing enjoyed by all

Crestomere 4-H members enjoy ice fishing

Major announcement planned for Tuesday at Westerner Park

Hopes are that the CFR will be relocating to Red Deer

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Hockey heroes and every day heroes needed

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Newly freed Diab wants reforms to Canada’s ‘lousy’ extradition law

French authorities dropped terrorism charges against Hassan Diab who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980

Most Read