Wetaskiwin county deputy reeve says damaged #616 bridge will be repaired by fall

Wetaskiwin county deputy reeve says damaged #616 bridge will be repaired by fall

Deputy reeve Terry van de Kraats says tests done, more known by mid-February

The Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce members who may have been alarmed to hear a major bridge in the area had been shut down indefinitely heard some good news Feb. 02.

Speaking at the chamber’s regular luncheon held for the first time at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, County of Wetaskiwin deputy reeve Terry van de Kraats said the municipality has been in contact directly with the provincial government over the Sec. Hwy #616 bridge which spans the QE II.

Van de Kraats said the bridge is temporarily shut down but the provincial government stated an inspection was done this week and within another week the transportation department should have a solution in place.

The deputy reeve said the estimated time of repair would be fall, 2018, after tourist season is over.

Van de Kraats said he suspected Edmonton didn’t know how important the bridge is to the region. “It is pretty significant and I don’t know if the province was really aware of that,” he said.

He pointed out the collision itself, which occurred in January and involved an 18-wheeled truck hitting one of the concrete pylons, plus a fire igniting, was very serious.

Citizen engagement

Van de Kraats also noted the County of Wetaskiwin wants to increase its citizen engagement, and to that end has scheduled a town hall meeting for mar. 14 at Angus Ridge Hall south of Wetaskiwin.

The schedule for the meeting includes a presentation on topics like road maintenance plus a question and answer time.

Agriculture day events

Wetaskiwin Co-op representative Pam Ganske mentioned there are several important agriculture events coming up in the city.

Canada’s Agriculture Day will be celebrated in the city Feb. 13 as a great way to strengthen relationships between people who eat food and people who produce it. The first event is the screening of “Food evolution” at Wetaskiwin Cinemas from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

That night Wetaskiwin’s Taste of Canada will be held at the Heritage Museum. This is a culinary event featuring dishes from across Canada crafted by local chefs. Ganske noted it’s almost sold out.

Lastly, on February 19 the Family Activity Day will be held at the Heritage Museum, featuring tons of great family agriculture activities.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca