City in­stalling lights along High­way 4 for in­creased road safety

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG— mlieben­berg@prairiepost.com

The in­stal­la­tion of lights along a stretch of High­way 4 through Swift Cur­rent will im­prove safety for road users.

The City of Swift Cur­rent has started with the pro­ject to in­stall 130 lights over a dis­tance of about five kilo­me­tres from the Trans-Canada High­way in­ter­change to the city's south­ern bound­ary

City Gen­eral Man­ager of In­fra­struc­ture and Op­er­a­tions Mitch Minken pro­vided de­tails about the pro­ject at a reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing, Oct. 22.

“In terms of safety it’s huge,” he said af­ter the meet­ing. “If you go through there at night there are stretches where there’s ab­so­lutely no light. It’s like be­ing out in the ru­ral ar­eas. The in­ter­sec­tions in par­tic­u­lar are im­por­tant to us to give proper light­ing for the in­ter­sec­tions for safety, and as the city grows it just gets busier and busier. So it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to have this done.”

The to­tal cost of the pro­ject will be about $350,000. The City is us­ing funds left over from the High­way 4 repaving and main­te­nance pro­ject.

“We de­cided that the best uses of that fund­ing would be to in­stall light­ing along Memo­rial Drive,” he said. “It was al­ways planned that light­ing would be in­stalled there. It was just a mat­ter of when we would be able to bring it forth as a pro­ject. So this was a great op­por­tu­nity with the help of provin­cial fund­ing that gave us an op­por­tu­nity to get these lights in­stalled now.”

The light­ing pro­ject will there­fore be funded through a com­bi­na­tion of City funds and money from the Saskatchewan Min­istry of High­ways and In­fra­struc­ture.

“We were re­spon­si­ble for some of the roadwork that was re­quired,” Minken ex­plained. “It turned out that the min­istry didn’t re­quire us to pay for that roadwork. So that’s where some of the fund­ing be­came avail­able from.”

The City's in­ten­tion was to carry out the in­stal­la­tion last year, but the repaving and main­te­nance pro­ject was only com­pleted late in the year.

“We didn’t have enough time to ac­tu­ally get any­thing in­stalled,” he said. “We pur­chased all the poles and the piles and the LED street­light fix­tures last year and we had all the ma­te­rial in place over the win­ter. This year has been a very busy year for Light and Power. So it’s the first op­por­tu­nity we’ve had now to ac­tu­ally do the in­stal­la­tion.”

The im­me­di­ate goal is to com­plete all the un­der­ground work for the in­stal­la­tion of the lights be­fore the ground freezes.

“The piles will be get­ting in­stalled and all the wiring will be get­ting in the ground and then if we hit freeze up that's fine,” he said. “We can erect the light poles and the lights af­ter freeze up over the win­ter even, if it's re­quired.”

Af­ter the com­ple­tion of this pro­ject only a short sec­tion of High­way 4 through the city will be with­out lights.

“We’ve got one small por­tion left to con­nect from Oa­sis Drive up to High­way 4 in the north,” he said. “There’s one small piece that re­quires to be fin­ished there. That will be com­pleted next year.”

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