The City of Weyburn has recently developed the Infrastructure Revitalization Program, a new program 100 percent funded by the city. It allows the city to pinpoint the critical areas that require improvements to surface infrastructure, involving residential streets and sidewalks.
Jennifer Wilkinson, Director of Engineering with the City of Weyburn, explained that the program is a replacement for the Local Improvements Program, which was 60 percent funded by the city and 40 percent funded by Weyburn residents, and could be added to their taxes.
"What they found with that program," she said, "was that residents in the area had the right to petition against it, and so a lot of projects got cancelled because of the additional payment by residents."
Wilkinson said that through their Asset Management Program, they determined which areas require fixing, and it can be areas that they know are about to fail, and they can catch them before they do a full rebuild on that street. The anticipated plan for the 2023 infrastructure program includes asphalt paving and sidewalk replacements.
Connectors to the highways run through a different program, she explained, so they aren't included in the new program.
"We have been budgeting $700,000 a year for this program. This year, we are actually spending $800,000 due to a carry-over from last year, as one project was unable to be completed in time."
The city is seeing more potholes popping up right now with snow removal and a lack of snow coverage on the roads, she said. "A lot of that comes with the freeze-thaw cycle that we have. The road is going to shift and move with the frost and the freezing and the thawing of it, which creates cracking and potholes."
If they know it's a re-occurring area, Wilkinson said that they will put it in a long-term plan to possibly look at digging that area of the street out, and rebuilding the base in the hopes of avoiding the freeze-thaw.
"Higher usage streets or any streets with the truck route on it are going to be more susceptible because they have more weight and more traffic on them."
There isn't a defined start date for the program yet, as Wilkinson said it depends on the contractor hired to do the program, but it will occur during their typical construction season.
"Plus, these programs are weather dependent. Any residents who will be having any work in their area, we will notify them ahead of time of any restrictions to their property or accessibility issues that they might have during that time."
Those interested in more information about street locations and initiatives can find it here.