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County council talks roads with the Minister of Transportation

Posted on November 3, 2020 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward


County of Forty Mile’s council had a call in with Alberta’s Minister of Transportation Ric McIver on Oct. 28.
McIver was joined on the call with a fellow staff member from Edmonton and Alberta south region director Darren Davidson.
“We just had a general conversation about the next phase of Highway 61,” said Steve Wikkerink, county reeve.
“Some concerns of how the last section was seeded. The maintenance got behind on the stuff they had seeded. We had just asked if we could reseed it and if next time they do the next phase, if we could reseed it for them. Darren Davidson made notes on that.”
The county had submitted a quote of what it would cost for the municipality to the reseeding themselves.
“We’re just waiting to hear back if we’re going to be able to go ahead and do that for them,” said Wikkerink.
He added the utility companies have been moving their equipment out of the way for the next phase.
Wikkerink says the next phase will come up in the next budget discussions.
Highway 885 that goes south of Etzikom came up in discussion because part of the road is broken up and the other stretch is in decent shape.
“(We) basically said it’s got to be fixed properly or you may as well change it back to gravel, so at least we can maintain it,” said Wikkerink.
McIver received input from Davidson before talking to council.
“He thought it would make sense that it was going to be cheaper to tear it out and maintain it as a goof gravel road,” said Wikkerink.
“But he also mentioned that if Darren thought we could fix it for within the budget numbers, then I don’t think he was opposed to it.”
McIver a reassured council that there would be enough money to twin Highway 3 up to Burdett after the county had heard rumours there might have not been enough funds to do the project.
The municipality also heard rumblings that the Medicine Hat to Seven Persons stretch would be done at the same time as the Taber to Burdett stretch.
“He (McIver) says ‘No that is not true’,” said Wikkerink.
Council posed the questions to McIver about if the county is allowed to have input on the proposed plan for the rerouting of Highway 3 south of Bow Island.
“He felt, yes if it’s at the planning stage and nothing else has been finalized, no land has been bought yet, he doesn’t see why we wouldn’t be able to have some input,” said Wikkerink.
Davidson told council the Town of Bow Island has been in contact with him in regards to the same issue.
Dust control
The county has had issues with their dust control product over the last number of months.
“It just didn’t seem like our dust control product worked as good as it did in previous years,” said Wikkerink.
“We do buy our product from three different sources. We’re kind of looking back into those suppliers to see if everybody supplied us the same strengths of product or why this year was so different than other years.”
No answers came out of the discussion other then the county’s public works manager looking into it.

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