Local residents joined First Nations and government leaders to celebrate the official re-opening of the Highway 547 bridge over the Bow River.
The original bridge, known as Aapaistaan on the Siksika Nation, was severely damaged, and 60 metres of the Bow River embankment washed away, during the devastating 2013 floods. (Friday’s) celebration marks an end to long detours that added more than an hour of travel for motorists.
“We have remained steadfast in our commitment to repair this bridge so that residents, school children in buses, emergency responders and all who cross the Bow River here can safety do so again. We are proud to be standing with our Siksika Nation and community partners to celebrate today.”
~ Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta
“Aapaistaan, the bridge, is a vital part of our Nation. It joins our community and our people. We are thrilled that Aapaistaan is complete and offer our sincere gratitude to Premier Prentice and Minister Drysdale.”
~ Vincent Yellow Old Woman, Chief of Siksika Nation
“This bridge is a key connection for communities, families and businesses across this region. I want to personally thank residents of the Siksika Nation and surrounding communities for their support and patience as we worked toward this day.”
~ Wayne Drysdale, Minister of Transportation
- The bridge re-opened October 9, 2014 to light-weight vehicles under five tonnes. It is now open to pre-flood traffic of up to 30 tonnes for a transport truck pulling a second trailer, known as a train, as well as school buses, ambulances and other large emergency response equipment.
- Repairs to a girder on the bridge were made over the past few weeks to allow the bridge to open to pre-flood conditions.
- The project, originally scheduled for completion in June, was delayed by 2014 spring flooding and unexpected underground drilling issues.
- The project is expected to cost about $4.5 million. It is part of the Government of Alberta’s overall flood recovery plan that invested $60.6 million in roads, bridges, water treatment, flood repair and mitigation work in 2013-14, and is budgeted to spend an additional $62.0 million in 2014-15.