On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, a bridge (BF09350) located on Range Road 81 roughly 600 metres north of Township Road 574 collapsed, resulting in a hazardous materials release into the Little Paddle River. Upon notification of the collapse, the County’s Fire Services and Enforcement Services teams responded and controlled the scene.
First and foremost, the County is thankful that no injuries resulted from this incident.
Immediately after the incident, and over subsequent days, clean up and investigative services have been deployed from the following municipal and provincial departments:
- Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Services
- Lac Ste. Anne County CPO services
- Alberta Environment
- Alberta Transportation
- Lac Ste. Anne County Public Works and Infrastructure
Cleanup of the site continues, and Alberta Transportation has launched an investigation into the BF09350 incident. The bridge under investigation had warning signs in place that warned traffic of the maximum allowable weight restrictions. The site signage showed varying allowable axel configurations of 12t, 14t and 22t. Investigators are reviewing the above weight restrictions and comparing them against the incident vehicles gross weight and width dimensions. These are being considered major possible contributing factors to the failure of the bridge.
Detours are as follows: To access Range Road 81 past the closed bridge, travel east on Township Road 574 to Range Road 80 north to Township Road 580 and west to Range Road 81 south, or travel west on Township Road 574 to Range Road 82 north to Township Road 580 and east to Range Road 81 south.
Click Here to download a detour map in PDF format.
About the Bridge
Built in 1910, BF09350 is part of the ongoing Alberta Transportation Inspection Program. The bridge has undergone numerous inspections, upgrades, parts replacements and service work dating from the beginning of the County record until present day.
In September of 2000, BF09350 underwent refurbishment work. As a result of the refurbishment, the bridge was taken out of Alberta Transportation’s three-year inspection rotation program and placed in a longer rotation cycle (meaning the refurbished bridge qualified for a longer time period between Alberta Transportation inspections).
Alberta Transportation inspected BF09350 in 2005, 2012, 2015 and 2019. Upon recommendation from a 2014 Ultrasonic Steel Inspection Report, the County installed posted loading signs.
About the County’s Bridge Management Program
Lac Ste. Anne County is home to more than two hundred bridges of various size and structure. Maintenance of these structures falls under the purview of the Public Works Department in accordance with the Municipal Government and Public Highways Acts The County's Annual Bridge Replacement Program includes upgrades, improvements and, where required, replacement to select bridge structures in the County.
Until 2012, the County received significant provincial grants to support the ongoing capital maintenance of its bridge infrastructure. Between 2012 and 2017, however, the County was given no provincial funding to support its bridge maintenance program.
Regardless of provincial funding, the County proceeds with bridge infrastructure rehabilitation projects each year. In the absence of provincial funding, these projects are funded by tax dollars. As provincial funding is made available, these funds offset bridge maintenance projects to varying degrees.
The County is proud of its resourceful and proactive approach to bridge management. The County has made great strides – often with little or no provincial funding – to keep its bridge rehabilitation program current. All 2019 bridge rehabilitation projects have been completed.