The City of Swift Current has started the final phase of installing streetlights along major highways through the city to increase safety for road users.
“We began earlier in the year, putting street lights all the way on Memorial Drive, right from Highway One to the south limit of the city,” City General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations Mitch Minken said. “We got to Airport Road and then eventually to Oman Drive earlier in the year. Now is the time to hit the last two phases.”
Last week, starting Oct. 8, streetlights were installed from Oman Drive to the south limit of the city. The work on the remaining phase on the north end of Memorial Drive, where it connects with Highway No. 4, started this week. For now, the work on the north end will only focus on pilings and the installation of wiring before it gets too cold and the ground is frozen. The installation of the light poles will take place a little later.
“We're making sure we get as much wire into the ground as we can and getting all the underground work done, and then we'll worry about doing the surface work when it freezes up,” he said.
Streetlights were previously installed along the section of the Trans-Canada Highway that runs through the city. Discussions between the City of Swift Current and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure determined that the installation of streetlights was the best way to improve safety along the highway.
According to Minken the total cost to install these lights will be about $500,000. The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure will be responsible for the largest portion of this expense as part of the urban highway connector program. There were still funds available after the completion of the Highway 4 repaving and maintenance project.
“So when all the paving and the extra lanes were added as part of the safety, the lighting was also an aspect of that,” he said. “It's just taking us a little bit longer to get it finished up.”