Weyburn City Council accepting an RFP from Allnorth Consultants to get the ball rolling on a key piece of the city’s key infrastructure plans. The proposal is for the geotechnical design of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 1st Avenue between 13th Street and Government Road.

The City of Weyburn had applied for funding through the Urban Highway Connection Program and needs to have the design completed before the work can start. The project, which will have a total price tag of $1.2 million, including funding from the provincial government, is something residents of the city have been looking forward to for years.

The sentiment of most motorists who travel on that stretch of road is shared by Councillor Laura Morrissette.

“1st Avenue is definitely a high priority, it’s high traffic,” Morrissette said after the meeting Monday night. “I drive on it myself every day and I know how hard it is on people’s vehicles.”

Last October, the city had a geotechnical investigation of the project area conducted by KGS Group. This assessed the subsurface conditions of the roadway and was necessary for the design phase. KGS Group was one of the consultants to bid on the RFP, but their cost came in more than twice the price of Allnorth Consultants. Originally having a scope that included the replacement of the traffic light standard at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Government Road, the scope was altered to have that done as a separate project. As a result, the bid from Allnorth came in at $39,990 plus any applicable taxes.

The funding for the project is still to be determined, however. The provincial government won’t announce whether the project will qualify this year for funding under the UHCP until the budget, which will be presented on March 20th. While there is a chance the funding won’t be made available for the construction to be done this year, it doesn’t mean this will be a waste.

“It’s just really important to have that design so, like Director (of Engineering) Wilkinson said, even if it does have to sit on a shelf for a year, we know that we can reapply for that funding year after year, and then we can budget accordingly for whether it’s 2024 or 2025,” Morrissette added.

If the funding is approved, the construction is expected to take place this year, with a deadline for completion in December.