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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

MD approves Bruder Bridge project

Washed out bridge to be replaced by June
T. Lucas file photo
T. Lucas/C. Davis

Twin Butte area rancher Tony Bruder and his family should have some relief from a somewhat untenable situation by June of this year, after Council for the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 approved a contract to replace the washed out Range Road 29-2 Bridge #2064, or "Bruder Bridge", which previously provided the most direct and convenient access to their home. The new bridge is to be a 100 foot single-span portable steel bridge over the wider post-flood channel of Drywood Creek.

Bruder first appeared before council in late August 2014 to discuss the bridge issue and roadways in the area, which were affected by the flooding of late June last year. "Obviously, if the bridge is out to the north of us, and washouts to the road to the south of us, we are very concerned how we are going to be able to get in and out of our place," he said at that time. "The bridge has been a constant problem since its construction in the 1950s, as it is too small to handle the Drywood Creek during high water events," Bruder and his wife Lorraine explained in a follow-up letter to council.

MD Director of Operations Leo Reedyk's report on the issue to Council in October confirmed the inadequacy of the bridge and others in the area for farming use, saying "There are no bridges between Highway 6 and the Waterton River Dam that are adequate to transport large farm equipment across the Drywood Creek".

In December 2014 tenders from a total of seven bidders to replace the Bruder Bridge project came in over the estimated budget. Two of those bids were deemed non-compliant. M. Johnston Construction Ltd. submitted the lowest bid for the project. The issue came back to Council for a decision in January, at which time it was deferred, in anticipation of more information, to a special meeting of Council on February 2.

According to Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, at that meeting "Council passed a resolution to award the contract for the Bruder Bridge to M. Johnston Construction Ltd for $674,629.80, including engineering, with any funds from the Disaster Recovery Program for the project being used to offset the total project cost.  Anticipated completion date of June 1, 2015."

According to documents, the bridge is to be a 30.48 m (100') span length portable steel superstructure with steel bridgerail and a timber wearing surface, with a 4.27 m (14') minimum clear road width. The minimum bottom of girder elevation is to be 1240.3 m. It is expected to allow a greater volume of water to flow past the bridge. It will be wider than the bridge it replaces, with lower guard rails to allow for larger agricultural equipment to pass over than the existing bridge.

Related story:
MD Council agrees to tender possible solution for Bruder Bridge problem

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