City installing lights along Highway 4 for increased road safety
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.”