Estevan City Council has received some good news from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways, as Highway 47 is to be included with the Urban Highway Connector Program, but not until 2014.
The City has received confirmation via phone call and e-mail from the Ministry that the project will happen next year. Some work still remains before the project can proceed.
The portion of Highway 47 that passes through Estevan includes Souris Avenue North and South, and a few blocks of 13th Avenue and Sixth Street. Motorists have been complaining for years about the condition of Souris, particularly Souris Avenue North, which extends from King Street to the northern city limits.
But Council has been waiting for the go-ahead from the connector program before proceeding with a rebuild of Highway 47.
"We didn't want to jump the gun (and start the project), and then have them say 'You're on your own.' We need that joint venture for us to be able to afford it," said Mayor Roy Ludwig.
Ludwig said he would like to see everything finished in 2014. If not, the project will be completed over two years. He expects that the northern half would be completed in 2014, and then the southern half would happen in 2015.
In the meantime, maintenance work, such at hot mix for potholes, will have to suffice on Souris Avenue North and South in 2013.
"This fits in well with our budget as well, because … we're a little bit tapped right now," said Ludwig. "We want to finish our existing projects before we move forward."
Water main replacements will also be included in the project, Ludwig said, but they haven't had discussions with the Ministry of Highways to determine the cost share for the underground works associated with the project.
The total cost of the project, including the water main replacement, is an estimated $11 million or $12 million.