Kneehill County contract crews have begun the extraction of gravel resources from County-owned land located at NE-16-32-26 and SE-16-32-26.
An estimated 1,250,000 m3 of pit run is available at the site. Once extracted, this will provide Kneehill County a secure source of road crush gravel for the next 15 years (using 135000t/year), for an estimated total cost savings of $27,000,000 (twenty-seven million), or $1.8 million per year, compared to the cost of purchasing gravel from outside sources and then trucking it into the municipality.
Kneehill County owns 120 acres of this area, which was comprised of an old landfill site--since reclaimed--where the pit run is now being stockpiled. The pit was in operation for a long time, until groundwater became problematic in the late ’90s. In the mid-2000s, the County tried again, producing a couple of years supply of gravel to crush before the water again, became an issue.
In 2019, Kneehill County started an application for a new pit plan and required approvals, which were finalized in June of 2020. A tender was then awarded to extract the gravel resource while pumping the problematic groundwater into the nearby Kneehill Creek.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of February 2021. The mountain of pit run will be stockpiled at NE 16, where it will be crushed to produce gravel for the roads, and other gravels to suit the municipality's needs.
Pictured is the south end of the Torrington gravel pit, looking north. To the left is a dock which usually sits a few feet above the water. The floor of the pit, where the equipment can be seen, will drop another 20 feet once the gravel resource is extracted, creating the deepest part of the end-pit lake at 60-75 feet. The stockpile of gravel material can also be seen in the background on the right-hand side.