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Town to remove old Maxwell Lake bridge section

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

A report providing an explanation of the ongoing work regarding the replacement of the Maxwell Bridge was brought to council during the July 21 standing committee meeting. 

Part of the scope of work included the removal of the old bridge section that is partially submerged under the new bridge, explained CAO Emily Olsen.

The town has a limited timeframe to comply with an Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Code of Practice to remove the material before winter frost sets in, which has to take place after June 31 to comply with direction from the Federal Department of Fisheries and Ocean (DFO), she added.

“The more communication, the better on this. Especially any types of surface disruption,” said Coun. Dewly Nelson about the report.

The report stated that approximately 2.5 metres of the old bridge deck was not removed in September 2018 due to complications resulting from the high-water levels. 

Attempts were made to remove the section in February 2019, which were also unsuccessful as only the top two inches of the bridge were above the frozen lake.

Contractors will attempt to remove this portion again in 2020. 

The Code of Practice Application to remove the old section, approved by AEP, expires on June 25, 2021. 

No work that requires entering into the water in this area can be completed between April 15 and June 31 due to direction from DFO.

Typically, all work that involves machinery in and around this area is preferred to be completed during winter conditions, however this work cannot be completed during winter due to the section being under water, the report stated.

The new bridge will be utilized as a work platform and the old section will be lifted from the water using connecting chains.

Using this procedure will minimize the disturbance to the bottom of the water body, according to the report.

If unsuccessful, administration will have to refer to AEP for further directions.

Administration anticipates the work to be done as planned and within budget prior to June 25,


The carry forward amount for deficiency work is $39,376. 

The report stated the payment will be released to the contractor, ISL Engineering, once the deficiency work is complete, but the amount will remain in the Federal Gas Tax Grant reserve account if the work is not completed.

The replacement of the Maxwell Lake Bridge was approved by council during the budget process of 2018.

The old pedestrian bridge was slumping into the wetland and was structurally compromised, according to administration.

This prompted the removal of the old bridge, and the installation of a new bridge and the new ramps to access the bridge.

Installation of the bridge was completed in 2019 but new ramp access has not yet been completed.

Temporary steps are in place to support accessing the bridge.

Council halted Town and ISL work in relation to the bridge excluding the bridge steps and requested a report with options including high level costs.

Coun. Albert Ostashek asked when the report regarding the future of the ramp installation would come forward, to which Peter Vana, director of development services, stated that administration is still waiting on approvals from AEP before they discuss further with council.