Flooding closes Highway 16 between Spruce Grove and Stony Plain
Published Sunday, July 15, 2012 12:58PM MDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 15, 2012 6:29PM MDT
Flooding has forced the closure of a major highway leading in and out of Edmonton.
Motorists travelling eastbound on Highway 16 were faced with delays Sunday as flooding forced the closure of both eastbound and westbound lanes between Spruce Grove and Stony Plain.
A culvert, which is a drain that allows water to flow under a road, had been dislodged in the area and was causing water to back up and flood over the eastbound lanes of Highway 16 near Secondary Highway 779.
"When the culvert came out of where it's supposed to be, it lifted straight up," said Glenn Fehsl, an employee with construction company Carillion.
"There must have been so much force that it just lifted it right up."
"The water has risen and risen," said Cnst. Barb Roy with RCMP.
"We had this down to one lane and then driving on the shoulder and now we've had to close the eastbound lands of Highway 16."
Eastbound traffic had been re-routed via Secondary Highway 779 to Highway 16A for most of Sunday, as water overflowed onto the highway.
Westbound lanes were also closed just after 4 p.m. Sunday.
It's unclear when it would be re-opened again. Highway officials say they will re-assess the situation Monday morning.
Tests are being done to test the structural integrity of the highway as a result of the flooding.
"I'm going to check for cracks on the highway, just to make sure it's safe," Fehsl said. "That will give us an indication."
An Alberta transportation engineer may have to come out to rule the road safe before it is re-opened.
Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning for Central Alberta. Areas west of Edmonton already received 50 millimetres of rain by Sunday morning.
Heavy rain is expected to fall throughout the region Sunday.
The flooding came just days after the Edmonton region was waterlogged by a powerful summer storm.
With files from Sean Amato