Village of Big Valley looking at bridge repairs

Big Valley council is concerned about the condition of an access bridge. Pictured is the village office/public library where regular council meetings are held. ECA Review/S.Salkeld

The Village of Big Valley council is looking seriously at repairs for the “north bridge” into town. The discussion took place at the Sept. 24 regular meeting of council.

Village chief administrative officer Sandra Schell presented councillors with a letter from the County of Stettler, which maintains the access bridge located on Twp Rd #355 on the northeast corner of the village and which connects to Hwy. #56.

Schell said the letter from the county stated the bridge belongs to the provincial government but the county has been maintaining it for them. 

The bridge is currently under a 10 tonne weight restriction and, technically, is outside the village’s boundaries although it is considered a majVr access to Big valley.

The County of Stettler stated they’re concerned about the bridge’s condition and submitted inspection information to the provincial government and Alberta Transportation responded by stating any work on the bridge is considered “low priority.” 

Coun. Harry Nibourg stated since the village has multiple entrances, this one probably won’t be considered urgent by Alberta Transportation.

However, the county suggested applying for a STIP grant to pay for repairs, with Schell noting the grant is 75 per cent province, 25 per cent municipal with the bridge project estimated at about $1 million.

Schell stated there is no money budgeted for this project. 

“I don’t want to see it go out of there myself,” said Coun. Art Tizzard.  If the bridge degraded so badly it was closed it would be a headache for people to use other accesses. 

Deputy Mayor Clark German responded, “Where do we get the quarter of a million for it?” However, German stated he supported applying for the grant and doing everything possible to keep the bridge open.

Councillors unanimously agreed to support the County of Stettler applying for a STIP grant to repair the bridge.

 

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

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.

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