Prairie Post (East Edition)
City of Swift Current receiving federal funding to connect pathways
The construction of a short section of new pathway underneath two major highways will ensure that Swift Current’s extensive Chinook Parkway is connecting the entire community.
The City has successfully applied for federal funding through Infrastructure Canada’s Active Transportation fund for infrastructure development that promotes activities such as walking, cycling, and other human-powered activities.
Council members approved a motion at a regular City council meeting on March 6 to confirm all requirements of the Active Transportation fund agreement have been met and to authorize the mayor and City clerk to execute the agreement.
Council members expressed their support for the agreement and referred to the benefits of the project for the community.
“It’s going to be very unique and very great to be able to tie our entire city together so that people could walk, rollerblade or cycle safely from S3 rink to Sask. Valley,” Councillor Ryan Switzer said. “This is excellent in connecting our community and very, very excited to see this project move forward.”
Councillor Pat Friesen noted it will be excellent to add to the City’s already awesome pathway system. Councillor Ryan Plewis mentioned it will provide a safe crossing underneath the very busy Trans-Canada Highway.
The total cost of the project will be $548,865. The federal government will contribute 60 per cent ($329,319) and the City will be responsible for the remaining 40 per cent ($219,546).
It will involve the construction of approximately one kilometre of new pathway, the installation of pathway lighting and park furniture, as well as landscaping, fencing and plantings.
City General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations Mitch Minken said the new pathway will address a major gap in the mobility network of the northeast area, where the Trans-Canada Highway and Memorial Drive (Highway No. 4) are constraints for pedestrians.
“It’s a very important one kilometre, because it’s going to connect our northeast area, Sask. Valley, in the area of the hospital and long-term care and many other residents with the rest of the city across a very dangerous highway,” he said. “So this is a very big step forward into the connectivity of our pathway system.”
The new pathway will stretch from Adams Street on the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway to the recently constructed pathway on the west side of Memorial Drive. It will cross underneath both highways and in-between it will be located adjacent to Memory Gardens Cemetery.
“The plan is completion in 2023,” he noted. “We did some preliminary work in the fall. Right now, we’re working with the Ministry of Highways to secure approval for the crossings underneath the two highways.”
There will be some design challenges, because a section of the new pathway will be adjacent to the Swift Current Creek. The project will require geotechnical, environmental and other approvals and there will be measures to manage erosion during higher water flows in the creek during spring.
“We have no indication that there are any barriers to doing the installation,” he said. “So it’s just a matter of working our way through the process.”
The overall distance of multi-use pathways and sidewalks in Swift Current expanded significantly over the past two years as a result of previous funding from the federal and provincial governments.