It appears that the Vinca Bridge replacement project has finally received its funding.
Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association announced on Thursday (Mar. 2) that the Alberta government had allocated funding for the project in the most recent budget.
"[The] Alberta Government Budget 2023 includes $8 billion for the Ministry of Transportation and Economic Corridors’ three-year capital plan, a $718-million increase compared with Budget 2022," said the association in a release.
"Included in this is a direct commitment for $60.5 million over 3 years for the Vinca Bridge replacement."
The 55-year-old bridge is nearing the end of its life and the project not only replaces the bridge but also implements a few key industrial upgrades.
"What we have been advocating for is not only does [the bridge] needs to be replaced but it needs to be upgraded," said Mark Plamondon, the executive director of Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association.
"It's not currently loaded for the oversized, overweight corridor capability."
The bridge's current configuration causes transportation problems for industry in the area, prolonging the amount of time it takes to get loads from one end to the other which, in turn, increases costs.
"Replacing Vinca Bridge will shorten travel times, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the competitiveness of both the Industrial Heartland and the manufacturing supply chain that contributes to its success," added Plamondon.
There is no timeline yet on when the project will get underway, but the funding marks significant progress.
Back in 2018, a $90 million upgrade was announced but was abandoned just a year later in 2019.
"Upgrading this bridge to a bridge that can handle the loads associated with an oversized, overweight corridor really enhances the attractiveness in this region for heavy industrial investments," said Plamondon.
"It really is a good asset to have in the region."