Culvert work causes detours on prime Stettler roadways

Traffic in Stettler has been rerouted the past week as work continues to install a new major culvert in Red Willow Creek.

Traffic in Stettler has been rerouted the past week as work continues to install a new major culvert in Red Willow Creek.

The detours are expected to last about six weeks.

The $793,000 project is funded through the provincial government’s highway upgrade plan.

Crews began work to construct a new 36-metre long culvert at Red Willow Creek in Stettler, just north of 44 Avenue beside the police station, to replace infrastructure that was installed in the late 1970s.

“Although this project will cause short-term pain in detours, the future benefits far outweigh the short-term inconvenience,” Stettler Mayor Dick Richards said.

“This is a continuation of the town and province’s investment in our infrastructure.”

Scheduled from May 23 to July 7 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., work is slated to take place seven days a week, weather-permitting.

Cars and light trucks will take a minor detour in the middle of Stettler on Highway 56, but they’ll be able to make their way through town on local roads.

Heavy trucks with regular loads will take a designated detour outside of town, which spokesmen say will be clearly marked.

“The new culvert, a 2.5 metre by 2.5 metre concrete box, is needed because the original steel culvert has rusted and must be replaced,” said Donald Saunders, bridge manager for the central region with Alberta Infrastructure.

“The concrete culvert is expected to last several years longer than the steel culvert, which was installed about 36 years ago.”

Workers will dig up the road, remove the existing culvert, replace it with a concrete culvert, and rebuild the road.

To stop the flow of the Red Willow Creek during the culvert replacement, a small, temporary dam will be built upstream. The dam will be removed when work is completed.

During construction, the existing road will be closed.

Flag persons might be required at key times.

Speed limits will be reduced to 50 km/h for local traffic in the town of Stettler, and speed limits on the truck detour will be posted.

Fines for speeding violations double when construction workers are on the job.

Up-to-date road information, including traffic delays, is a click or a call away.

Call 5-1-1 toll-free, visit 511.alberta.ca or follow Twitter at @511Alberta for updates.