By Justin Seward
Cypress County council moved the first, second and third reading to amend Bylaw 2017-33 for the speed limit over the bridge at Bullhead Springs Coulee at the Dec. 5 regular meeting.
The bylaw amendment will see the speed limit lowered to 50 km/h when crossing the bridge located on Township Road 160, 5.2 km west of Highway 41, and a weight restriction of five tonnes be initiated in effort to increase its longevity and to maintain traffic safety until it can be replaced.
“The bridge is being monitored by the engineers and if there is any change in there, they’ll advise us,” said Curtis Richter, Cypress County’s director of public works.
“If there is more depreciation throughout the bridge, I guess we’ll deal with those steps as they arise. There are alternative routes that are just kind of inconvenient for some of the farmers out there.”
The farmers on the adjacent land are quite frequent users of the bridge and will have to follow the weight restriction on that portion of the road which will be enforced by the peace officer and the RCMP.
Richter said the county has applied for STIP grant funding which will include the engineer’s reccomendation of the bridge being replaced with a multi-plate culvert hopefully in 2018.
“We have applied for four bridges in the county that either needed to be replaced or repaired,” said Richter.
“I’m thinking that one will move up on the priority list depending on the funding.”
Coun. Michelle McKenzie said most people there will be fine with weight and speed restrictions .
“Driving the school bus across that thing, you can feel it,” said McKenzie, who is a former bus driver in the area.
“If you hit it going too fast, the whole thing moves. It has to be fixed and if this is the only way we can do it until we have to wait for the STIP then that’s what we got to do.”
She added three farmers will be affected because in October and May that is the main road to get into the community pasture where there are big liners going across the bridge loaded with cattle, which could become an issue.
The county will be sending out notifications to the adjacent landowners to explain the weight restrictions.