Stettler county will work on troublesome road after resident complaints

A councillor voiced his concern that acreages near town are discouraging business in the County of Stettler at the regular meeting April 14. ECA Review/File
Written by Stu Salkeld

The County of Stettler council heard the municipality will perform much work to a haul road after residents complained about safety and health problems linked to truck traffic. 

The report on Scollard Road was made at the Feb. 9 regular meeting of council.

County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy presented councillors with a written update on plans for Scollard Road, a busy gravel road in the Big Valley region that was the subject of a delegation of residents at the January council meeting. 

Cassidy stated she wanted to ensure councillors were kept up to date on the road’s condition and what staff were doing to address that.

The residents, represented by Doreen Mappin, stated heavy truck traffic on Scollard Road was causing health and safety problems for people living there. Another concern was large, chunky rocks in the gravel road.

“The specific concern related to condition was related to some rocks showing dimensions as much as five inches protruding from the road,” stated the staff report. 

“Public Works inspected the road immediately after the concern was raised. Rocks referenced in the complaint were found and determined to be contained in a (roughly) 100 metre section of the road. 

Public Works determined the most likely reason for the rocks protruding following the rehabilitation work is due to surface gravel migrating off the road centre.”

The staff report noted a temporary solution of mixing the existing gravel with new material and snow appears to have helped the situation. 

“A grader spread the material and the road surface initially appeared very serviceable,” noted the report. 

“The repair section was inspected a week after initial application and again today and is performing well.” 

It was mentioned that more permanent rehabilitation work will be done in spring.

The report also explained that regular grading on Scollard Road over the years has flattened it somewhat and spread material outwards to the shoulders, … “leaving the center of the road weak with some of the original core constructed with organic fill showing at the surface.” 

The report went on to note the county plans to rehab 7.6 kms. of this section of Scollard Road in 2022 and that staff will be submitting a request for dust control in the budget, a key complaint made by the residents last January.

Lastly, it looks like it’s been over a decade since a traffic count was conducted on that section of road. 

“Upon investigation, traffic counts have not been completed on the Scollard Road since 2011,” stated the memo. 

“As per council’s request, we will schedule new traffic counts to be completed in spring of 2022.”

Coun. Les Stulberg stated he was glad to see staff took immediate action on the resident’s concerns.

Coun. Ernie Gendre stated he was curious to see what the traffic levels were at because the last time a count was done the oil patch was in a bit of a boom.

Reeve Larry Clarke also reminded councillors the 2011 traffic count was conducted before that section of Scollard Road was designated a haul route.

Councillors unanimously accepted the report as information.

 

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.