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Maxwell Lake bridge going somewhere soon

Maxwell Lake bridge

Masha Scheele

Hinton residents could be getting some usage from the bridge in Maxwell Lake this summer as conversations between ISL Engineering and Alberta Environment & Parks (AEP) continue.

AEP communicated to ISL that temporary stairs for the bridge are an appropriate solution under the code of practice application. 

According to administration, the application for the temporary solution was handed over to AEP, and currently the town sits within the two week waiting period where AEP can raise any issues with the application.

“In that timeline that means one week after AEP responds or no response we should see some action of building the temporary steps in the first week of July,” said Hans van Klaveren, interim director of community services during the regular council meeting on June 11.

ISL confirmed with administration in an email that they are financially responsible for providing the service of the design, the application process, the construction and the installment of those temporary steps.

Coun. Ryan Maguhn noted, “One of the main reasons I supported the bridge installations in the first place was access for first response and fire protection and those sort of things. So the stairs are for me and the folks I’ve been talking to a very temporary but not a solution that’s ideal in any way shape or form.”

A different approval process is needed for the permanent ramps for vehicle access and isn’t expected to come back from AEP before 2020.

“AEP has confirmed to ISL in conversations that they had so far that gravel would not be an option to bring back anymore as a ramp construction. We are waiting for ISL to come give us that written confirmation that AEP will not approve gravel to come back as a solution for bridge access,” said van Klaveren.

A schematic design has been done and covered financially by ISL including a Class D, which is a high level class estimate for the construction cost.

That design was sent to AEP and before a detailed design is done AEP will discuss the options with ISL.

“The bridge project is running out of funds after the installation, that means we will need additional funds for an additional project to bring in ramps,” said van Klaveren to council.

Associated Engineering is working with administration and AEP on the proper water act approval in order to continue maintenance on the Beaver Boardwalk. 

“We obtained Associated Engineering and they did a site visit and in the meantime they will help us with all the required applications part of the process, that might be a full wetland assessment again,” added van Klaveren.

The timeline on getting approval for further maintenance would also be closer to 2020, explained van Klaveren.

“The payment for that comes out of the 60,000 dollars for maintenance because this is part of maintenance budget that was already approved by council last year, this year and next year,” he said.

A terms of reference for a boardwalk committee will come back to the standing committee meeting on June 18.

The committee will bring forward recommendations to council for further decisions for the total rehabilitation project of the boardwalk.