The City of Drumheller and County of Wheatland will jointly host two public information sessions for residents of Wayne and Dalum to provide information on the upcoming replacement of Bridge 11 along Highway 10X this summer; doors open to the public at 5:30 p.m. and the session begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23 at Wayne Community Hall and Tuesday, June 28 at Dalum Community Hall.
In addition to providing residents with information on project details and next steps, representatives will also provide detour information to affected residents of rural Wheatland County and the community of Wayne.
“Based on the prohibitive cost of installing a detour bridge, as well as the limited traffic at this location, it has been determined by both jurisdictions (City of Drumheller and County of Wheatland) that a detour bridge will not be installed for the duration of this project,” said Dave Brett, Director of Infrastructure Services for the City of Drumheller.
Brett further notes that affected residents are being asked to detour via Highway 56 to access Drumheller or Wheatland County.
Bridge 11 was originally built in 1931, and has been under three-tonne weight restrictions since 2018 due to significant issues found during inspections in 2018 and 2019.
Although Bridge 11 is within the municipal boundaries of Drumheller and owned by the city, a 2021 traffic study found that approximately 65-70% of users were rural Wheatland County residents using the bridge via Wayne Hill Road.
“One of Wheatland County’s strategic priorities is partnership,” said Wheatland County Warden Amber Link. “This collaboration with the City of Drumheller and the Government of Alberta to replace Bridge 11 is an example of how we can work together to benefit the residents of Wheatland County as well as the region.
As the province has increased the planned flow of the Rosebud River, the replacement bridge will need to be built 1.5 meters higher; the additional costs for this have been factored into the project planning.
The replacement is estimated to cost approximately $3.2 million, and the province has approved funding under the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program, Local Highway Bridge Grant (STIP-LRB) to cover approximately 75% of this cost.
In July 2021, the city approached neighboring Wheatland County to seek contributions for the remaining 25% portion; Wheatland County approved the application and committed a total of $120,487.50, or approximately 4% of the project cost.
Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail