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Market Access Network - General Overview

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Lethbridge County is looking for public input to determine Lethbridge County’s priority routes for the intensive agriculture sector.

During the open houses for Funding Our Future in the spring, producers told the County that the routes identified do not always match up with how they conduct business.

Lethbridge County needs to improve its records so upgrades can be planned for the necessary roads in the Market Access Network (roads and bridges).
 
Please fill out a questionnaire at the Lethbridge County Administration Office or at our Picture Butte Shop. The questionnaires will help us determine which routes suit your needs best.
 
There are approximately 2,000km of road and 167 bridges that require maintenance and reconstruction. Over 20 percent of the bridges in Lethbridge County have reached their maximum age and are starting to fail.

Closed Bridge 01 

In the above photo, daylight can be seen through holes in the structure of this closed bridge in Lethbridge County.

One bridge is already closed and more will follow if we don’t reinvest. Public safety is a paramount concern and we need to ensure our bridges and roads are safe for all users. We need your input to determine which routes should be our priorities.

Most County roads were designed for the mobile infrastructure (trucks, haulers, etc.) of 50 years ago.  Today’s heavy haulers, super-B trucks, and other large equipment put much more pressure on these roads and bridges that were designed for smaller vehicles and lighter loads.

In order to keep up with the evolving agricultural sector, we need to reinvest in the Market Access Network to bring our roads and bridges up to today’s standards. Reinvesting now will help ensure continued prosperity for producers and residents.

In 2016, the County will collect approximately $2.6 Million as part of the Funding Our Future project to go directly towards infrastructure. The 2016 construction plan has been confirmed and the County is looking at which roads and bridges need attention in the coming years.

“Feedback from our citizens regarding the Market Access Network is key; to focus our efforts which will best improve roads and bridges for future years. If the currently identified haul routes are not the correct routes, then your input will help us identify the correct ones,” says Reeve Lorne Hickey.

Lethbridge County recognizes that significant spending increases are necessary to maintain the Network used by trucks for moving animals, produce or supplies to and from agricultural operations.

The 2015 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card states that a third of municipal infrastructure is in fair, poor or very poor condition, increasing the risk of service disruption.

Road and bridge closures disrupt daily operations and will create lengthy detours and decrease efficiencies.

Some funding challenges the County is facing are that local governments are very limited in their ability to ensure users are contributing a fair share of tax dollars toward infrastructure; very little oil, gas and linear tax revenue is received; farmland assessment has been frozen for more than 20 years; grants are very limited; and we have new provincial and federal governments.

Please see Funding Our Future for more details.