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

West Central Peewee Tigers crowned SCAHL league champions

The Tigers are set to continue their dominating season at Peewee AA Provincials March 28

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake skaters use all the colours of the rainbow at showcase

The Sylvan Lake Figure Skating Club hosted its showcase, ‘Colours,’ on March 17.

SLIDESHOW: Sylvan Lake’s Kites on Ice a colourful success

The cultural event featured a colour party for the “festival of love” Holi.

Sylvan Lake maintaining a stable housing market

There are 168 residential properties available in Sylvan’s current “buyer’s market”

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake’s Mother Teresa, H.J. Cody meet on the court

Mother Teresa’s senior basketball teams played H.J.Cody’s junior teams in exhibition games on March 13

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Notley’s government puts priority on health care in throne speech

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell kicked off the legislature session

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick retires in wake of SNC-Lavalin case

Jody Wilson-Raybould accused Wernick of pressuring her to head off criminal charges for the firm

Dutch tram shooting suspect arrested, say police

Police say three people were killed in the shooting Monday and five wounded

Canada extends Iraq and Ukraine military missions to 2021 and 2022

Extension is part of efforts to curb Russian aggression and to fight against Islamic militants

Most Read