Black Diamond pushing to ready bridge for flood season

The push is on to get the Sheep River bridge in Black Diamond ready for flood season.

Sheep River bridge washed out during June flood, cut off Turner Valley from Black Diamond

Flooding last June washed out the Sheep River bridge, leaving Turner Valley residents cut off from Black Diamond. (Alberta Transportation)

The push is on to get the Sheep River bridge in Black Diamond ready for flood season.

Last June, floodwaters tore through the area and washed out 100 metres of Highway 22, leaving Turner Valley cut off from Black Diamond. Now, officials are working to make sure the important bridge will be prepared for any future floods.

"We continue to work to make sure this bridge, this key piece of infrastructure for the area, is protected and that we've learned the lessons from [the] flood," said Calgary MLA Kyle Fawcett, who is also associate minister of recovery and reconstruction.

Backhoes loaded with granite boulders have been building up the banks around the bridge.

However, local officials are anxious about the availability of supplies.

They're using a type of rock called 'rip-rap' — and it's in high demand in other communities affected by flooding.

"There's a shortage of rip-rap in the province of Alberta," said Kelly Tuck, Mayor of Turner Valley. "There's many communities that need it so what they're doing is looking, prioritizing who's going to get rip-rap, what projects are going to go first in line. So for sure, this bridge is a priority."

The province has put $800,000 towards the bridge armouring project

It's expected to finish mid-May.

Crews are also building a berm along the Sheep River, but that won't be finished until August.

This photo shows the Sheep River bridge before it was destroyed by flooding in June. (Alberta Transportation)