Patience may be required as story of new bridge indicates

A new two lane concrete bridge across the Medicine River on Range Road 30 south of Benalto has just opened.

Dear Editor,

A new two lane concrete bridge across the Medicine River on Range Road 30 south of Benalto has just opened. It replaces an old single lane steel truss bridge. The story of this bridge may tell Sylvan Lake residents what they can expect on the highway intersection south of town.

One of the first local political meetings I attended about 35 years ago was to complain about that single lane bridge across the Medicine River. Even then it was too small to accommodate most farm equipment and larger grain trucks.

Readers may be interested in the amount of agricultural commodities that come out of that 15 mile circle around Benalto. Before they were destroyed, the Benalto elevators shipped about 19,000 metric tonnes of grain to export position by rail each year. All that grain had to come into Benalto by truck and most of it had to bypass that old bridge. About half of that grain was barley. That was enough to make about 175 million bottles of beer every year. The nearby elevators at Sylvan Lake and Eckville shipped even more, and the elevators at Bentley, Rimbey, and Leslieville were not far behind.

At the time one farmer remarked “when you consider the billions of dollars of oil, cattle, and grain that goes down that road, it is pathetic Edmonton can’t even upgrade one bridge for us.”

So over 35 years it would be fair to say that several billion dollars of local production has been made less economic because Edmonton could not do arithmetic on the Medicine River Bridge.

35 years later we finally have a new bridge. It is big enough for two cars, but I would hate to have to move a larger piece of farm equipment across it.

Perhaps we can take up a collection and send Edmonton a tape measure, and wait another 35 years. However if the Benalto experience is anything to go by, Sylvan Lake residents who expect prompt action from Edmonton on their traffic concerns may need to be very patient.

Ken Larsen,


Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and Eckville under snow fall warning

Environment Canada issued the warning Saturday morning.

Local parents and teachers learn how to help their kids Grow Up Digital

Dr. Phillip McCrae presented research from Grow Up Digital Alberta on Fri., Sept. 21

H.J. Cody Lakers stumble against Stettler Wildcats

The Lakers lost the home game, Sept. 20, 20-8

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Red Deer County wins award for third year

Red Deer County was recently recognized for outstanding budget presentation

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Most Read