As detailed in our April 22nd article following approval from Weyburn City Council, the City of Weyburn is planning to install camera-sensor traffic lights along First Avenue, beginning with the intersection of Government Road, followed by the intersection at First Avenue and 16th Street, which would replace a four-way stop.

Weyburn's Engineering Director Jennifer Wilkinson said the starting and stopping of all traffic, particularly heavily-loaded semis, is one of the main reasons why that particular major roadway is a priority.

"You'll notice at the most at 16th and First Ave, and it's why we rebuilt that section and why we do it have it in a future plan to put lights up there. It is to make the traffic flow better because that's starting and stopping with that heavyweight really does cause riding on your road, and so that's the big thing with First Ave and why we see so much degradation on that road, is there's just so much heavy truck traffic. So we are going to do a bit of a better build on it that can handle that more appropriately, and then as well with the lights we are looking at, so they are more time so that traffic can flow smoother and it's not starting and stopping just based on the timer."

She said First Avenue, which is also Highway 13, has been on the City's radar for a long time.

"But it is a shared roadway with the provincial Ministry of Highways, so we needed to ensure that the timing worked for us and for them," she explained. "So now that we actually have that funding in place, I mean that's a big project for us, we can continue to work on the other roadways within the area. It is a balance between trying to find things that aren't a full rebuild that we need to do maintenance on to keep them so they aren't to full rebuild years later in years, and then trying to fit in those full rebuilds because the full rebuilds are a lot more expensive than say just an asphalt top coat." 

She pointed out that the timing and level of work on major roadways shared with highways still depend on funding from the province.

"The province is prioritizing among multiple cities and what they have for funds available, as well as all the other highway infrastructure, so they have a balance in their budget to make sure that they are helping all municipalities as well as keeping the highway infrastructure up to sufficient standards. But I think they have done a really good job in our area, of investment, lately, as we've seen passing lanes, now they're looking at that twinning of the highways and stuff. So they are recognizing that we are a very busy area and we are starting to see a lot of infrastructure investment in this area."