The City of Weyburn will be putting in an expression of interest for four projects in the Urban Highway Connector Program (UHCP). The program, administered by the provincial Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, calls for these expressions from municipalities for what are identified as priority projects in the community.
The UHCP is a program that provides funding for urban highway connectors, which are roadways that connect highways when they run through a city. The examples in Weyburn are Highway 39, Government Road and King Street, which connects Highway 35, and First Avenue North, which connects Highway 13.
During Monday’s meeting of Weyburn City Council, four priorities were named by the Director of Engineering, Jennifer Wilkinson, for submission to the province for consideration.
The first priority is the intersection of 1st Avenue and Government Road, as well as the paving along 1st Avenue from the intersection to 2nd Street. The second priority identified is the remove the damaged asphalt on 1st Avenue from 2nd Street through to 13th Street and then repave the section. The third identified priority in the submission is the removal of the damaged asphalt on King Street from the intersection with 1st Avenue North through to 5th Avenue North and then repaving it. The fourth priority is the removal of the damaged asphalt along 1st Avenue from 13th Street to 16th Street.
The priorities were brought before the city council Monday night as the provincial regulations for the program require a resolution from the council stating the City of Weyburn will agree to meet all of the conditions for the program, which include conducting an open tender process, funding the municipal share of the project, to provide the maintenance and operation costs as well as following the measures needed under the Federal Impact Assessment Act and the Environmental Assessment Act of Saskatchewan.
The councillors did have a chance to discuss the projects with Wilkinson during the meeting. Councillor John Corrigan inquired about the work under the 4th priority going from 13th to 16th Streets and not going all the way to 18th Street. Wilkinson explained the need for that hasn’t been identified as a need yet, but it could change.
Wilkinson responded to a query from Mayor Marcel Roy about how the cost-sharing works as well. She said the UHCP provides a grant for the project that covers up to 70 percent, with the remaining 30 percent being the responsibility of the city.
“This grant is very useful for us,” Wilkinson stated, pointing to past projects that have been completed under the program. “It’s how we were able to to the 1st Avenue and 16th Street intersection.”
It was also explained that some of these projects have been submitted to the province before.
“Project one and two were combined, and then we submitted project three as well,” Wilkinson said of the previous submissions. “We will submit the same ones again so they understand that our priorities haven’t changed.”
The resolution required for the expressions of interest did pass the council with a unanimous vote.
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