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Forth Junction Project
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C & E Railway / CPR

 
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Capital budget
Get the lead out
Council to spend $3.7M to repair, repaint CPR bridge

 
reprinted from Red Deer Advocate (Crystal Rhyno) November 25, 2015

The CPR bridge will be getting a paint job.

Calling the bridge an environmental hazard, council approved $3.7 million in spending to remove the lead paint, give it a recoat and make repairs to the municipal historic resource in 2016 on Tuesday's capital budget debate.

Council heard that lead from the paint on the supporting structure and steel trusses are flaking and falling into the river, potentially affecting the overall health of the river.

But the decision was not taken lightly as council did not want the bridge to become a "Green Onion" where members of the community balked at the city spending $750,000 to re-paint the water tower.

Most councillors stressed it is not about "making the bridge pretty" but out of concern for public safety and the Red Deer River.

City manager Craig Curtis said there are financial and health risks in delaying the project. He said approving the project this year would be the most cost efficient.

Mayor Tara Veer said the community fought to keep this heritage resource in the 1990s.

"Once we know there is a risk to public health and safety, we have a responsibility to react," said Veer.

Coun. Paul Harris said the bridge has become part of the community's identity.

"To suggest that we wait is an example of borrowing from our future to pay for our present," he said. "We have an ethical obligation now that we know there is going to be lead in the river."

Coun. Tanya Handley did not vote in favour but she shared the concern about "lead is falling in the river." She said there needs to be more communication with the public about the necessity of the project before she could support it.

Coun. Lawrence Lee voted in support after unsuccessfully arguing to defer the paint remediation to another budget cycle in order to get a better price on the project.

Councillors Frank Wong and Buck Buchanan were also opposed.

The paint job and repairs are expected to extend the life of the bridge for another 40 years.
 


News articles related to Calgary & Edmonton Railway / Canadian Pacific in Central Alberta:
       News article: Penhold man remembers day of the train
(Innisfail Province Dec.2013)
       News article: Help add a little history to Arches project
(Red Deer Advocate Sep.2009)
       News article: Historic significance of concrete obelisk preserved in mural (Red Deer Advocate Oct.2008)
       News article: A new face for the old station (Red Deer Life July 1996)

Railway Bridges of Central Alberta
Calgary and Edmonton Railway (CPR)
Calgary and Edmonton Railway at Red Deer (CPR)
Downtown Red Deer Ground Transportation Themes
Railway Icons of City of Red Deer

Rise and Fall of Passenger Rail in the C&E Corridor
Jubilee 4-4-4 3001 'The Chinook'
History of Railway Structures Used in Central Alberta


Michael Dawe articles related to Calgary & Edmonton Railway / CPR heritage:
      
Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge now 100 years old (Red Deer Advocate June 2009) 
       Red Deer becomes a divisional point for CPR
(Red Deer Advocate Special March 2007)

 
 

 News articles about the Forth Junction Heritage Society:
World-class destination centre still in the works 11/13       Praise today's big dream 01/12       Forth Junction targets county 12/11 
Forth Junction pulling toward a new station
12/11        A volunteer on the right track 12/10        Tourism board supports rail project 10/10
Forth Junction rail project seeking charitable status
10/10        Rail tourist attraction idea gets rolling 07/10        Railway heritage 06/10
New idea for Riverlands worth an Olympic cheer 02/10       Happy to hear more talk on large-scale attractions 02/10
One-time opportunity 02/10       Tourism proposal facing obstacles 02/10       World-class attraction proposed for Riverlands 02/10
   

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