May 21st, 2019

Province announces funding for Hwy. 3 bridge replacement


By Lethbridge Herald on March 15, 2019.

Herald photo by Ian Martens Transportation minister Brian Mason, alongside MLAs Maria Fitzpatrick and Shannon Phillips and mayor Chris Spearman, speaks during an announcement of a replacement of the Highway 3 bridge.

Tim Kalinowski
Lethbridge Herald
tkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com
The city of Lethbridge will be getting a new bridge — but not a third 
bridge.
Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason made the announcement 
Friday morning at Lethbridge City Hall that his government would be 
spending $100 million to replace the existing bridge across Highway 3 
by 2022.
“Our government is committed to building strong, sustainable 
infrastructure across the province,” said Mason. “This new long-
awaited bridge puts safety first while ensuring Lethbridge commuters 
spend less time in traffic and more time with their family and 
community.”
However, the first question Mason was asked in the media scrum 
following his announcement was whether or not the province would also 
consider funding a third bridge for the city.
“The Highway 3 bridge is on a provincial highway and is a provincial 
bridge,” stated Mason. “When a third bridge is constructed it will 
be a City bridge, and will be the responsibility of the City.”
Mason did not rule out the province advancing some seed money for a 
third bridge when and if the City is ready to go forward with its own 
construction plans, but stated that would not be considered until 
after his government is re-elected for another term.
“We will look very seriously at providing in a future date for a 
third bridge for the City of Lethbridge, but it will be a municipal 
bridge and not a provincial bridge,” he said. “And I think that is 
an important distinction to be made. We are certainly prepared in a 
second term to to take a good, hard look at it and see what we can do 
to assist the City to provide that additional crossing.”
Mason said the new bridge across the Oldman River on Hwy. 3 was still 
in the conceptual stage, and the grant funding had been newly 
allocated for the project out of surplus funds from other transport 
project builds across the province. Having allocated the funds, an 
engineering study would now be commissioned and a public consultation 
process would be initiated, ultimately leading up to that 2022 
completion date, stated Mason.
The new bridge on Hwy. 3 will be a modernized four-lane highway with 
full access lanes leading onto and off of it, and would be constructed 
in the current bridge’s location, explained Mason. The old bridge 
will be demolished in stages with traffic being reduced to one lane as 
construction commences.
Mayor Chris Spearman welcomed news of an updated bridge to replace the 
current bridge. According to the province, the Hwy. 3 bridge was first 
placed near its present spot in 1947, and was then later expanded to 
its current configuration in 1966.
“It’s about partnership,” said Spearman, “and working together. 
What we have seen is tremendous growth in the economy of Lethbridge 
and diversification, in terms of agricultural production, seeing the 
Cavendish plant coming onstream this year, adding 7,000 more trucks a 
year. Highway 3 is our commercial route in and out of Lethbridge; so 
(this announcement) is important.”
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

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5 Responses to “Province announces funding for Hwy. 3 bridge replacement”

  1. potsie says:

    Why did they spend all the millions on the bridge upgrades last year? Does anyone in government have any idea what is going on ?

  2. zulu1 says:

    More sleazy politics, nothing like bribing voters with their own money !

  3. Resolute says:

    To quote…”the grant funding had been NEWLY allocated for the project out of SURPLUS FUNDS …” to assist Lethbridge candidates get elected this year by showing them the NDP loves Lethbridge voters. Bishbosh. Transparent cookie jar bribery of the electorate using our money. They inconvenienced traffic hugely last year when they spent millions to resurface the bridge they are now replacing with an identical 4-lane bridge. No improved traffic flow – and just what does Mason mean by “long-awaited” or “spend less time in traffic”? What a ham! Oh, but it will be NDP Orange this time. Well, maybe they will at least put in a safe eastbound merge lane.

  4. GHG says:

    “Surplus Funds”. Funny. Surplus debt maybe.

  5. Seth Anthony says:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking myself GHG. It’s like having a $20,000 credit card debt, and saying the $100 in your pocket is “surplus funds”.

    Also, as far as the cookie jar bribery goes that Resolute mentioned, ALL political parties do that. It’s just another pathetic characteristic of a seriously flawed governmental system


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