The long awaited culvert replacement under South Dinosaur Trail near the old AltaGas building is going to start construction near the end of July.

Sighs of relief can be heard from Passion Play audience members and volunteers, who were worried the construction would affect the traffic around the attraction.

"Last thing we heard from Alberta Transportation is that the construction looks to be starting around the end of July. So that looks like it will not coincide with Passion Play's activities there," explained Drumheller CAO Darryl Drohomerski.

The Canadian Badlands Passion Play dates are every weekend from July 6-20, 2018.

The next conflict is the concern of Newcastle residents, who prefer not to have heavy traffic in their neighborhood.

"I know that the contractor for Alberta Transportation is to provide, as part of their traffic plan, a way that they are going to try and preclude the people going through the neighborhood," said Drohomerski. "You can't shut it right off but you can try and minimize the people who are using it as a cut through. We will try and get those people to stick to the main through ways, rather than going through a residential area."

According to Drohomerski, the culvert needs to be replaced very soon as if it was left till next year, it would most likely fall apart.

"The indication is that it will be at least six weeks to do it. It is fairly extensive: the old culvert has to be dug out, the new one installed. The new one is concrete and comes in sections, so it is a lot more time consuming to get it all right. Then there is a realignment of plug street, its going to be a straighter road than it is now, and then some asphalting," concluded Drohomerski.

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