A vehicle crosses the level crossing on 49th Avenue in Innisfail. The Town of Innisfail is upset about a recent bill issued by CP Rail for work done at the intersection.

Town fights rail work bills

The Town of Innisfail is feeling a little railroaded.

The Town of Innisfail is feeling a little railroaded.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. recently sent the town a pair of bills totalling $160,100.38 for maintenance and repair work done on two local rail crossings at 49th Avenue and 50th Street.

One bill for about $75,000 for work on 50th Street was later withdrawn, with an apology from CP that it had been sent in error.

But that still leaves the town holding the bag for about $85,000 to cover part of the work on 49th Avenue.

Craig Teal, Innisfail’s director of planning and operational services, said the bills were completely unexpected.

“We’re waiting to get some more detailed explanations ourselves on how this comes to be,” Teal said.

In discussions with CP officials it appears that the town wasn’t billed for the 50th Street work because the road was there before the railway tracks so its CP’s responsibility. However, at 49th Avenue the road came after the tracks so the town is expected to cost-share.

“That being said, we usually don’t get bills out of the blue from CP,” Teal added.

There had been no prior notification from CP that it expected the town to pick up some of the work nor was there any consultation about projected costs. The town has not budgeted for the work in its recently completed 2014 budget.

Innisfail pays $1,600 a month for basic track and crossing maintenance.

The town has also contributed to other crossing projects in the past, but it hasn’t resulted in surprise bills.

Teal said the town is hoping to meet with CP to discuss the issue further and is hoping the second bill will be withdrawn.

CP spokesman Kevin Hrysak said both crossings were replaced as part of a track maintenance program to ensure safety at public grade crossings, he said.

“The work (at 49th Avenue) that took place consisted of replacing the crossing surface from the rubber mat surfaces to a more durable and longer lasting concrete surface.”

The town was billed as part of a road authorities agreement that outlines cost-sharing.

Hrysak said CP is aware of the community’s concerns and plans to further discuss the issue.

This isn’t the only headache the railroad construction has caused. When the 50th Street crossing was upgraded to a heavier gauge of track the crossing was significantly higher leading to complaints from local drivers.

The town reduced the speed at the crossing to 20 km/h to spare people’s vehicles. CP later came in and smoothed out the bump, although it is still higher than it used to be, Teal said.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Bower Place gets okay to redevelop

Red Deer municipal planning commission approves plans

Concerns raised about ice-cream-eating bear at drive-thru in Innisfail

Concerns are being raised about a video of a Kodiak bear from… Continue reading

WATCH: Marijuana in the Workplace information luncheon held in Red Deer

Central Alberta businesses need to prepare for the legalization of marijuana. That… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month