May 30, 2018 by David Kennedy
EDMONTON—The Alberta government has set aside $90 million to upgrade a bridge across the North Saskatchewan River northeast of Edmonton.
The Vinca Bridge crosses the waterway on Highway 38 south of Redwater, Alta.
While only 2,000 vehicles cross the current bridge each day, the upgrades will shorten travel times for heavily-laden trucks, most traveling to and from the oilsands. Oversized and heavy loads currently detour about 200 kilometres to stay on the province’s High Load Corridor.
“This river crossing will save time and money as these critical loads travel into and come out of our northern regions,” Brian Mason, Alberta Minister of Transportation, said in a statement. “The new bridge will become a major component of the High Load Corridor and will help the energy sector become more competitive.”
Hundreds of heavy loads are expected to reroute over the upgraded bridge each year, saving an average of approximately $10,000 per trip.
The multimillion-dollar project is expected to create 265 jobs during construction. Once complete, Vinca Bridge will support loads of more than 200 tonnes.
Planning and design work is set to get underway this year.