A semi collision on Highway 2 on Jan. 17 damaged the Secondary Highway 616 overpass, leading to indefinite closure of the bridge. Photo courtesy of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit

A semi collision on Highway 2 on Jan. 17 damaged the Secondary Highway 616 overpass, leading to indefinite closure of the bridge. Photo courtesy of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit

Highway 616 Millet overpass closed indefinitely

Estimated three to four year repair wait time

UPDATED

There have been ongoing questions surrounding the state of the driver involved in the collision. According to Cpl. Laurel Scott, RCMP central division spokesperson, the driver was released from hospital the same day he was admitted.

ORIGINAL STORY

The Secondary Highway 616 overpass west of the Town of Millet that goes over Highway 2 will be closed indefinitely.

The overpass incurred damages when a southbound semi-truck and trailer unit carrying milk collided with the infrastructure on Jan. 17.

Millet town council discussed the bad news during its Jan. 24 meeting. Councillors voted to draft a letter to Alberta Transportation, expressing what the closure will mean for the town and surrounding area.

“I’ve heard a nasty rumor it could be three to four years until the bridge is repaired,” said CAO Teri Pelletier.

“We’ve been told the inspection may take until February 17,” she informed council.

Millet fire chief Steve Moen attended council earlier in the evening to give an unrelated presentation, and it was discussed how, with the closure of the bridge, the department is having to use emergency turnaround lanes on Highway 2 to respond to calls. This causes concern for the safety of the department’s members, and increases response times.

Other sectors potentially burdened will be schools and school bus routes, businesses, residents and the municipality.

“The annexation has gone through,” said Pelletier, referring to the land Millet recently annexed from the County of Wetaskiwin, and future industrial growth that is expected to follow.

“I’m in constant contact with residential developers,” she added, referring to the Lakeside Meadows residential development. “This could put a kink in that development.”

Mayor Tony Wadsworth has requested administration attempt to acquire the name of the driver involved, should the town seek potential legal recourse. Pelletier and assistant CAO Lisa Schoening agreed the town could ask for that information but there is no guarantee it will be given.

Pelletier added the County of Wetaskiwin and the summer villages surrounding Pigeon Lake have also discussed drafting similar letters to Alberta Transportation; it will be up to each individual council to ultimately approve that decision.

amelia.naismith@pipestoneflyer.ca