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ACR / CPR Mintlaw Bridge

Forth Junction Project Vision Sharing Historical Perspective Ground Transportation
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Plans for Mintlaw Bridge waiting
on public feedback

reprinted from Mountain View Gazette (Sylvia Cole) February 7, 2012

Red Deer County is still collecting feedback from the public to determine what to do with a 100-year-old bridge purchased by council in 2010.

Purchased for $1, the county has since invested $205,000 for rehabilitation work on the Mintlaw Bridge, built originally for the Alberta Central Railway that later became part of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

A public open house was held Jan. 25 to garner feedback on the county's draft bridge preservation and public access strategy. About 70 people turned out for the event, said Jo-Ann Symington, community services manager at Red Deer County.

"There was a mix of positive and negative feedback," said Symington, adding that there were concerns from adjacent landowners.

The draft presented to the public included feedback from 55 landowners in the area. Of those who responded, 34 per cent didn't want the public to have access to the bridge, citing concerns over loss of privacy, trespassing, costs to the county, impacts on wildlife and safety of users.

Of the remaining neighbours, opinions were divided with 37 per cent wanting to see public access become available and 29 per cent uncertain.

Other consultations with various groups such as the Waskasoo Environmental Education Society and the Forth Junction Heritage Society were all in favour of public access by foot or bicycle and suggested signage, fencing and garbage receptacles as possible solutions to some of the neighbours' concerns.

Symington said based on feedback from these consultations as well as other workshops, the long-term objective is to allow public access to, on and across the bridge.

She added, however, that public access to the bridge wouldn't become available any time in the "foreseeable future," saying final approval has yet to be obtained from council and costs to maintain the bridge would have to be shared in some sort of partnership.

The estimated cost for annual operating and maintenance sits at $40,000 but drives up to $250,000 a year if the public is allowed access. As well, a one-time $2.7-million capital cost outlay would be needed for a parking lot and bridge connection on the west side. Two other possibilities, allowing access to a viewing point or allowing access on the bridge only from the east, were also presented in the draft.

Because of the costs, no further development or public access will occur on the site until a partnership is in place, said Symington, something that would be looked into more seriously once the draft is approved.

Meanwhile, the public is asked to continue offering its feedback until Feb. 15 via an online or printable survey found at

News articles related to ACR/CPR Mintlaw bridge:
       Commentary: Preservation Opportunity Not to be Lost
(Innisfail Province & Red Deer Advocate June 2015)
       News article: Red Deer County seeks partners to afford bridge access
(Mountain View Gazette Apr.2012)
       News article: County council looks at bridge as tourist attraction
(Red Deer Advocate April 2012)
       News article: Opposition comes forward to Mintlaw Bridge preservation
(Mountain View Gazette May 2011)
       News article: Reinforcing our history
(Red Deer Advocate Mar.2011)
       News article: Repairs planned for crumbling CPR bridge
(Red Deer Advocate Feb.2011)
       News article: RD County antes up for Mintlaw Bridge repairs
(Mountain View Gazette Nov.2010)
       News article: Bridging gap between history and disrepair
(Red Deer Advocate Nov.2010)
       News article: County buys bridge for a buck
(Red Deer Advocate Dec.2009)
       News article: County buys historic railway bridge
(Red Deer Express Dec.2009)

       News article: Historic significance of concrete obelisk preserved in mural (Red Deer Advocate Oct.2008)

Alberta Central Railway (CPR) - Red Deer to Rocky Mountain House
ACR/CPR Mintlaw Steel Trestle
Railway Bridges of Central Alberta
Alberta's Largest Railway Bridges
Largest Railway Bridges of Western Canada

Rails to Trails
Forth/Tuttle-Mintlaw-Sylvan Lake Linear Park Proposal

Michael Dawe articles related to Alberta Central Railway / CPR ACR branch heritage
A look back at the Alberta Central Railway (Red Deer Express Sept.2014)
       Laurier's 1910 visit huge event for city (Red Deer Express August 2010)
       Mintlaw Bridge essential to region's railroad heritage (Red Deer Express March 2010)
       Sir Wilfrid Laurier visited Red Deer (Red Deer Advocate May 2010)
       The origins of Alberta Central Rail pillar (Red Deer Express April 2008)
       Alberta Central Railway helped open region (Red Deer Advocate Special March 2007)
       John T. Moore (Red Deer Express Feb.2003)


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