It was announced last year, but cost- and time-estimates for the new Morrin bridge were not available that early in the project.
Now, Donald Saunders, Bridge Manager for Alberta Transportation has some details for area residents, and the project looks enormous.
"The new bridge is going to be built on the north side of the existing bridge so we can maintain traffic there," explained Saunders. "To do that, we've got to build concrete piers in the river, abutments on the head slope where we've got to build the fill and then a bit of road grading. The project also includes some erosion control devices up the valley slopes where there's some erosion next to the highway."
The current bridge has been standing since the 1950's. The new bridge is expected to be completed before the end of the 2010's.
"We're estimating the whole project will be completed by the summer or fall of 2020. That includes the removal of the old bridge. The new bridge should be open sometime before that, but that's up to the contractor's schedule."
Saunders notes that Mother Nature could cause work stoppages in the winter and weather delays. The project is estimated to cost $20.4 million, but will the new bridge be worth it?
"[The bridge] will be 140 metres long. It's going to have a 12 metre wide clear roadway. So, to put that in comparison, the current bridge is only 7.3 metres wide so, this new bridge will be a lane of traffic in each direction and some nice, wide shoulders and a lot safer."
The new bridge will not have overhead trusses, which means it won't have height restrictions for vehicles. This is a definite boost for people in the area who need to haul machinery, or tall loads.