What the Heck is That Tower for?

One kilometer south of Leduc on Highway 2A on the west side of the road stand two towers. They are approximately 8 meters tall and equipped with what appears to be lights, cameras, antennas and other gadgets. The mystery is that the towers look pretty sophisticated but to the average driver and passenger, don’t seem to have any logical or identifiable purpose for being there.  First guess. A highway live cam like those used by AMA (now 511) to provide live views of highway conditions and weather for travellers.  However, upon checking the AMA website the only live cam in the region is located on Highway 2: South of the Highway 2A Overpass near Leduc, not on Highway 2A. 
    The search for the identity of the mysterious tower was directed to Trent Bancarz, Public Affairs Officer, Alberta Transportation. Trent responded, “The equipment in the photo is an automated screening device for commercial vehicles. As commercial vehicle enforcement is now under Justice and Solicitor General, one of my colleagues in that department will be getting back to you with some answers.”

Commercial vehicles, the towers are watching you!
    It wasn’t long before my inbox received an email form Brendan Cox, Public Affairs Officer, Justice and Solicitor General. “The device in question is actually for enforcement purposes, but it's not what you might think. It's an automated screening system that helps our Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers work more efficiently. The cameras take photos of commercial vehicles, their licence plates and vehicle information numbers, and it sends that information directly to the weigh station in Leduc. It instantaneously gives officers information on commercial vehicles in terms of inspection records and things like that. If it’s a vehicle that's had some problems in the past, it would get flagged for inspection. Or if it's from a company with a less than great record, it may get flagged. It helps us select commercial vehicles for inspection that are more likely to have problems so that we're not wasting time inspecting vehicles that really don't need it.”

Safety features incorporated into 
system
    “It also has a thermal imaging camera, which can tell if a truck's brakes aren't working, or if it has overheated bearings or under-inflated tires and so on. This automated screening device is the only one in Alberta and the first of its kind in Canada. It's part of a three-year pilot project called the Smart Roadside Project. It's very efficient, and it allows the officer to zero in on problems rather than spending time on things that aren't.”
    Now that I have the answer to the mystery, I am comfortable the ‘Twin towers of Leduc’ are there to make our highways a safer place to be. However, every time I drive past the ‘Twin towers of Leduc’ and see the automated screening device I now know is loaded with cameras and blinking down at my Ford F 150, do I dare exceed the speed limit?. 

More Stories:
  • Millet Harvest Fair The Town of Millet Council and Administration started off the Harvest fair with a BBQ on Friday, from noon till 2:30 pm with hamburgers and hot dogs. The food was cooked with tender loving care by the Mayor, Rob Lorensen, ...
  • Eastlink Creates A $10,000 Link To Daycare In Wetaskiwin “Eastlink is dedicated to playing an active role in supporting charitable and non-profit organizations and activities that enrich the families and communities in which we operate,” declared Julie Benoit, Regional Marketing ...
  • Millet Fire Department: Full-Service Fire & Rescue Experts Did you know that the fire department in Millet is manned entirely by volunteers? Did you know that they are, “on-call,” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? And did you know that they are as qualified as you will ...
  • A Happy Comeback It’s been one year since I left the Pipestone Flyer for a much needed ‘sabbatical’, after two and a half years of my weekly column, reporting on regional happenings, and experiencing some personal changes... It was a year ...
  • Leduc County Boot Drive Six Leduc County firefighters will be representing Canada in the upcoming World Rescue Organization’s World Rescue Challenge. Team Captain, Rob Csolle, said the team of volunteer firefighters made substantial progress in ...
  • Amazing Corn Maze For the past fourteen years, Leduc and area residents know when fall is approaching as that is when the Amazing Corn Maze begins to welcome visitors. From early August until Thanksgiving, people have the opportunity to wander ...
  • Bigger Play Space At Notre-Dame On Tuesday, August 26th, while the school community prepares for the return to school, a group of dedicated parents got together to proudly receive a well-deserved cash influx into the Notre-Dame Playground Expansion project. ...
  • Millet 16th Anniversary Concert Millet's Concert in the Country celebrated its 16th Anniversary this year with full attendance and a variety of music styles by gifted performers. Each performer or group brought a special highlight and style to their set. ...
  • Leduc Firefighter Headed for World Championship For the past several years the Leduc Fire Department has had success in competing in the FireFit Championships. Most notably have been Kerry Harper and Kari Skierka who have represented the department at a number of international ...
  • RCMP Musical Ride Wetaskiwin When an RCMP officer is dressed in the traditional RCMP scarlet serge jacket, blue breeches featuring a bold yellow stripe, long shiny brown boots with jack spurs and brown serge leather gloves, that officer attracts attention ...
  • Rock The Rails 2014 The 8th Annual Rock the Rails was held on Saturday, August 23rd, and was the most successful to date. The competition was held at the Skateboard Park starting at 11am. It was a perfect day, with sunny skies and a mild wind ...
  • Local Student Awarded $1000 Scholarship "I am incredibly thankful to be selected as a 2014 Tim Hortons scholarship recipient,” remarked Peiyi Liang at the local Tim Hortons restaurant on August 13th, 2014. “Earning this scholarship will lessen the burden that comes ...
  • Doctors Are Writing Prescriptions to Get Active Submitted by Glenna Mageau Primary Care Network Wetaskiwin Patients wanting to increase their physical activity and improve their health can now get a prescription to help encourage them. Primary Care Network (PCN) family ...
  • Millet Public Library Wraps Up A Busy Summer Submitted by Margaret Blackstock The Centre for Family Literacy visited the Millet Public Library on August 13 for a fun filled morning with children and parents attending. The parents learned how children develop speaking ...
  • Pedal For Kids A local woman will be hopping on her bicycle to help get more kids off the sidelines. Rachel Yeung, the Leduc area’s Jumpstart representative, will be participating in a five-day bike ride from Ottawa to Quebec City next ...
  • By-the-Lake Park Trail Open To Wheel Chairs And Walkers Located on the outskirts of Wetaskiwin, just west of Adams Pontiac along 56 Avenue is a peaceful outdoor setting, By-the-Lake Park. This park offers a diverse array of recreational opportunities and events such as weddings, ...
  • Loonstock 2014 A Resounding Success The Loonstock promotional materials stated the ‘gates open @ 1:00 pm Saturday, August 16th, 2014’. However, when driving by the Loons Golf Course & RV Park course on Friday, August 15th, it looked like everyone was already ...
  • "We Love Art' Celebration Art Smith is an institution around Wetaskiwin. He won't turn 94 until December, but one of his nieces enlisted the aid of a couple more to put on a birthday celebration of, “We Love Art” during the lovely summer weather. ...
  • Calmar Fair Days This past weekend was another great time in Calmar as the town welcomed people from as far away as Texas to their annual fair days and mega market. Calmar has always been known for its hospitality and this annual event is ...
  • Leduc Regional Parent Link One of the more successful programs available to Leduc County and City residents has been the Leduc Regional Parent Link. This is an initiative of the Alberta Children and Youth Services that is run by the County for the ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia