Wednesday, 27 September 2017 09:11

Road to Swift Current Airport to be paved in 2018

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The announcement of a project to pave the road past the Swift Current Airport took place at the R.M. of Swift Current office, Sept. 21. From left to right, Councillor Mark Carefoot, Reeve Bob Neufeld, Delta Aggregates Area Manager Tahn Chambers, R.M. of Swift Current Administrator Linda Boser, Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault, and City of Swift Current Chief Administrative Officer Tim Marcus. The announcement of a project to pave the road past the Swift Current Airport took place at the R.M. of Swift Current office, Sept. 21. From left to right, Councillor Mark Carefoot, Reeve Bob Neufeld, Delta Aggregates Area Manager Tahn Chambers, R.M. of Swift Current Administrator Linda Boser, Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault, and City of Swift Current Chief Administrative Officer Tim Marcus. Matthew Liebenberg

The R.M. of Swift Current No. 137 has entered into an agreement with Delta Aggregates for the paving of the road to the Swift Current Airport.


The announcement of the partnership took place at a media briefing at the R.M. of Swift Current office, Sept. 21.
“The R.M. initially had discussions of doing this pavement about five years ago,” Reeve Bob Neufeld said. “It's always been on the back of our minds that maybe it would be a good thing to do and with the amount of traffic and the maintenance, we're very happy to have that agreement.”
Cost was an important factor in the past that made it difficult for the R.M. of Swift Current to pave the road, but this partnership with Delta Aggregates will make it possible to proceed with the project.
“When we were initially looking at it, it was $3 million, but now that we have a partner it's considerably less,” he said.
The paving of the road will have numerous benefits for road users as well as residents of the rural municipality.
“The pavement project will not only provide safer travelling for the conditions and reduce maintenance cost for the ratepayers of the R.M., but will enable the hauling of primary weight for the trucking industry and promote economic development in the area,” he said.
This is a significant financial commitment for the R.M. of Swift Current, but the long-term benefits will be reduced cost to maintain the road.
“I would say that probably the grader on an ordinary road is maybe down the road every three weeks,” Neufeld noted. “Here it's on more than once a week, and in a dry condition like this the grader wears the rubber off and wears the grader blades down and uses diesel fuel. So it's a cost that goes up every day.”
Division 4 Councillor Mark Carefoot mentioned that the road past the airport is one of the main arterial roads in the rural municipality. Traffic along this road includes trucks from gravel pits on the east side of the airport as well as other commercial and residential road users that will use this road to travel to Swift Current.
“Basically as councillor of the division and also a resident of the area I can testify the volume of traffic, and the dust and noise concerns that come along with all of that from both private and commercial traffic,” he said. “We felt with the increased traffic an opportunity to maybe develop the area. The road was a priority for upgrading. The ongoing capital cost of maintaining a gravel road is just getting more and more all the time. We felt this would be a more permanent solution for the future also.”
Tahn Chambers, the area manager for Delta Aggregates, said the company is excited about this partnership, because they have been discussing different options to upgrade this road with the R.M. of Swift Current since 2012.
“We do have an interest in it,” he noted. “We do have pits on the road, but we've come up with a few options for them, and having an asphalt plant in town now, we were able to come up with a better option and to be able to make it work for them.”
The road will be paved over a distance of about four miles from the Highway No. 4 intersection to the R.M. of Swift Current's eastern boundary with the R.M. of Coulee No. 136. The project will start in the spring of 2018 and it will take about two weeks to complete.
“It's probably 15 days to get everything done,” he said. “So it's a short turnaround, once we get in there and get going. It depends on weather of course, and mechanical breakdowns, but we''re about 15 days of work there.”
The road serves as the main access from Swift Current to the airport. The paving of the road will therefore be a significant benefit to users of the airport facilities.
“Council would also like to note that the City's commitment to the airport over the last numerous years has been substantial and we're just happy to contribute a bit to the regional airport ourselves through this pavement,” Carefoot said.
City of Swift Current Mayor Dennis Perrault and the City's Chief Administrative Officer Tim Marcus attended the announcement.
“This is a great day for all our community,” Perrault said.
“I look at all of us as being one region. ... Our airport is not in the city, it's in the R.M., used by all, and having a road that's able to go out there that's paved really is a benefit not only for residents, but it's absolutely a advantage to all the user groups that we have that head out that way.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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