The Town of Drumheller and Wheatland County will jointly host two public information sessions for residents in Wayne and Dalum to provide information on the upcoming replacement of Bridge 11 along Highway 10X this summer; doors will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. with the session to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 23 at the Wayne Community Hall, and Tuesday, June 28 at the Dalum Community Hall.
Along with providing residents information about the details of the project and next steps, representatives will also provide detour information for affected residents in both rural Wheatland County and the community of Wayne.
“Based on the prohibitive cost of installing a detour bridge, along with the limited traffic at this location, it was determined by both jurisdictions (Town of Drumheller and Wheatland County) a temporary detour bridge will not be installed for the duration of this project,” says Town of Drumheller Director of Infrastructure Services Dave Brett.
Mr. Brett further notes impacted residents are being asked to detour via Highway 56 to access Drumheller or Wheatland County.
Bridge 11 was originally built in 1931, and it has been under weight restrictions of three tonnes since 2018 due to significant concerns found during inspections in both 2018 and 2019.
Although Bridge 11 is within Drumheller’s municipal boundaries and is owned by the Town, a traffic study in 2021 found some 65 to 70 per cent of users were rural Wheatland County residents using the bridge via the Wayne Hill road.
“One of Wheatland County’s strategic priorities is partnership,” says Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link. “This collaboration with the Town of Drumheller and the Government of Alberta to replace Bridge 11 is an example of how we can work together to benefit both Wheatland County residents as well as the region.”
As the province has increased the designed flow rate of the Rosebud River, the replacement bridge will need to be built 1.5 metres higher; additional costs for this were factored into the project planning.
It is estimated the replacement will cost some $3.2 million, and the province approved funding through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program, Local Road Bridge (STIP-LRB) grant to cover some 75 per cent of this cost.
In July 2021, the Town approached neighbouring Wheatland County to request contributions towards the remaining 25 per cent portion; Wheatland County approved the request and committed a total of $120,487.50, or about four per cent of the project cost.
Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail