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$80-million Innisfail-area to Crossfield water twinning project complete

Twinning said to prepare 2A corridor municipalities for future growth
MVT water line
Construction underway in March 2019 of the water pipeline off Highway 2A north of Carstairs. Noel West/MVP Staff

A multi-million dollar project that saw the twinning of the water line from the Anthony Henday Water Treatment Plant near Innisfail down the 2A corridor from Didsbury to Crossfield is now complete and in operation, say officials.

Rick Blair, chair of Mountain View Regional Water Service Commission and deputy mayor of Carstairs, said the project went well although there were some delays.

“We twinned the line through Didsbury, Carstairs and Crossfield,” said Blair. “It is finished. It was on time and on budget. It went like construction. It went really well. There are always some bumps but nothing that was unforeseen.”

The second phase of the project began in October 2018 and wrapped up in December, said Blair.

The total cost for Phase 2 was $33.8 million. The total cost for Phase 1 (from the Anthony Henday plant in Innisfail to Didsbury) and Phase 2 combined is about $80 million, he said.

Some parts of construction took longer, he said.

“There was some issues with the 2A as people complained about speed limits and such but that was for safety,” he said. “Some short-term pain but definite long- term gains for the municipalities.”

The twinning of the water lines will prepare the municipalities on the 2A corridor for future growth, he said.

“Probably in the last 10 years we’ve been on water rationing in the summer at least once or twice a year because the water usage was more than the water commission could get to the southern towns,” he said. “This gives the southern towns, really all towns in the municipality room to grow.

“Without it you couldn’t have industrial or commercial users coming in that need water.”

Twinning the line will more than double the capacity, he said.

“That probably gets us to 2040 or 2050 depending on what the growth spurts are in these municipalities,” he said. “It’s certainly a long-term project.”

The commission also upgraded the pumps at the midline pumping station near Olds, he said.

All the work has been commissioned and tested and is working well and in full operation, he said.

Of the $33.8-million price tag for Phase 2, Blair said 42 per cent of the cost is from provincial funding from the Water for Life program.

“It’s taken almost nine years from the very start with engineering and everything,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of time of the commission but it’s a big project.”

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