Alberta contractor charged after failing to remove creek-damaging bridge

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Alberta has laid Water Act charges against a contracting firm that ignored an order filed by the province last October to remove a bridge deemed unauthorized and detrimental to the ecosystem of Maskuta Creek in Alberta’s Yellowhead County.

Jasper-based Bowen Contracting Ltd. and its director, Murdock Bowen, face eight charges under the Water Act, with the company’s director being named on four of those charges. Further details on the charges were not released by the province.

The company facing the allegations not yet proven in court describes itself online as an automotive, aircraft and boat contractor.

Bowen Contracting Ltd. had been ordered to remove the 12 x 3 metre bridge and remediate the creek bed, but has yet to comply with the order, officials say.

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According to the Water Management Order, a complaint was filed in spring 2018 to Alberta Environment and Parks to report that a steel bridge collapsed and damaged the banks around the creek bed.

“The banks and shoreline underneath the bed were disturbed exposing bare soil. The banks had slumped into the creek and deposited sediment into the water body and narrowed the creek channel,” an inspector’s report notes. “The wooden bridge deck is deteriorated and weathered and the steel frame is covered with rust and damaged,” the report continued.

Maskuta Creek supports brook and rainbow trout.

Provincial staff note that they searched through internal records but found no authorization for a bridge to be built over Maskuta Creek.

The first court appearance in the matter of Bowen Contracting Ltd. is set for August 21 at the Hinton Court House.

Alberta Water Management Orders for 2019 can be viewed here.

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