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Buffalo Junction sign preserved

McNally Contractors built and installed a new Buffalo Junction sign at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 785.

The Fort Macleod Cultural Heritage Tourism Alliance announced that the Buffalo Junction sign is back up and better than ever.

On June 8 the revitalized sign reclaimed its iconic spot just outside of Fort Macleod, thanks to the contribution of McNally Contractors.

The Buffalo Junction sign has been an important landmark for Fort Macleod for many years.

Located on Highway 785, it directs travellers to the UNESCO world heritage site, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

Buck Massey initially constructed the Buffalo Junction sign in 1987 when the Duke and Duchess of York, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, came to celebrate the opening of the new interpretive centre at the buffalo jump.

For 33 years the sign stood tall until the southern Alberta climate took its toll.

Last year, the sign was looking defeated and the community feared that it would be lost forever.

McNally Contractors, the local subsidiary of Volker Stevin Canada, is the company that owns the land where the sign is located.

When the community approached Mike Peterson, general manager of McNally Contractors, it was to politely ask for the company to try and preserve the sign the community loves so much.

The response that was received was amazing. Not only did McNally Contractors save the sign, but they made a replica of the original wooden sign with steel and added an arrow in the center of the pillar.

Designed with sustainability in mind, the spears were reused and the steel construction will endure through the future. McNally Contractors went above and beyond for the community, and it shows through the quality of work.

John Hawthorne, the artist behind the sign, has been a welder for over 10 years. This is the first time he has been asked to put his talents to use for a sign. 

Hawthorne traced out the original buffalos and keep them to scale which was an impressive feat when working with large steel pieces. There were many others that put their talents into the sign, and as the work progressed, the excitement rippled throughout the company. It became a work of pride among staff at McNally Contractors.

Once the structure was built, McNally Contractors had Fool Proof Coatings spray coat the sign to add colour and protect the metal from weather erosion over time.

The finished product shows the craftsmanship and dedication that went into preserving this sign.

When community members work together, exceptional results follow. The Cultural Heritage Tourism Alliance would like to thank McNally Contactors on behalf of the community of Fort Macleod and the region for preserving a unique landmark.

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