Local briefs – October 6

A project is underway to improve the safety at the Hwy 11A interchange. The provincial government will put around $24 million towards the project, which will see the interchange transform from a cloverleaf design to a diamond interchange, which is the more modern design.

Northside Construction heavy equipment excavates at the Hwys 2 and 11A interchange recently. The project to improve safety is part of $51.3 million from the federal government’s Infrastructure Stimulus Fund

Hwy 11 interchange under construction

A project is underway to improve the safety at the Hwy 11A interchange.

The provincial government will put around $24 million towards the project, which will see the interchange transform from a cloverleaf design to a diamond interchange, which is the more modern design.

Trent Bancarz, a spokesman for Alberta Transportation, said the modern diamond interchange has longer, straighter access lanes, which allow vehicles to leave the interchange at highway speed as they merge with traffic. He said the newer style handles today’s traffic volumes better.

As part of the project, median widening will take place to the north of the interchange to allow for the longer lanes.

The earth work is currently underway, with work on the interchange expected to take place in the spring.

A similar project was completed recently on the north interchange into Innisfail.

Bancarz said in the past year, the government has also worked at closing accesses to Hwy 2 in order to eventually prepare for a freeway in the future, which would only have vehicles accessing the roadway through interchanges.

Workplace accident under investigation

An investigation continues into an incident in which two industrial workers were injured at about 2 p.m. on Friday.

Chris Chodan, a communications officer with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, said two men employed with Copp’s Pile Driving in the Blindman Industrial Park, north of Red Deer, were hurt while trying to undo a pipe joint on a truck-mounted pile driver.

Chodan did not have details about the extent of their injuries and their names have not been released.

The men are aged 23 and 27.

The pile driver they were working on has been taken out of commission for inspection, said Chodan.

RCMP assisted with the initial investigation but are no longer involved, said Staff Sgt. Gordon Glasgow from the Red Deer Rural detachment.

Work-related injuries have dropped slightly throughout the province, Chodan said on Monday.

Foodgrains project raises $31,000, so far

The 14th annual Central Alberta Growing Project harvest has raised $31,000 so far for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Doug Maas, project committee member, said 11 combines made quick work of the 120-acre canola crop getting it off the field south of Gull Lake in one hour and 25 minutes on Saturday.

“We got 30 bushels to the acre, which would be considered respectable considering the amount of hail damage the crop had previously,” said Maas, who is with the Lacombe-area project.

The hail damage claim through crop insurance will also be sent to the foodgrains bank, a multidenominational group working with the Canadian International Development Agency on hunger issues worldwide.

This year, there were 214 projects across Canada, including 34 in Alberta, with two in Central Alberta in the Lacombe and Ponoka areas.

Every dollar raised through the harvest is matched with $4 from the federal program.

Last year, the Central Alberta group raised $56,000.

Maas said after 14 years, the project has built and maintained community support from individuals, farmers and agri-businesses who donate their time, money and labour.

Moving the project to different fields each year also helps by getting more people involved and creating more awareness for the project, he said.

Donations continue to be accepted.

For more information, go to www.foodgrainsbank.ca or call Maas at 403-782-1860.

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