Kerrobert – Asphalt will be Kerrobert’s version of black gold during the summer of 2015.
Kerrobert’s rough, unfinished mainstreet known as Pacific Avenue is getting a needed lift of asphalt that’s been nearly two years in the making.
The Ministry of Highways expects to wrap up paving the 1.5 kilometre thoroughfare to a primary weight standard by the end of June to the relief of Kerrobert mayor Erhard Poggemiller.
“It’s a long time coming,” he told Pipeline News on May 19.
The town tore up the street from one end to the other in the fall of 2013 to replace waterlines in preparation for the repaving that got underway the week of May 11.
“They were going to rebuild the road so they told us to make sure we had the work done underground so that’s what we did,” said Poggemiller.
That initial work was completed by Rev Energy Services Ltd. in 2013 with a gravel topping suitable for light vehicles only.
“It was dusty. We put a fair bit of town money into keeping that road so at least it was half drivable,” said Poggemiller.
Heavy oilfield trucks and dangerous good have been rerouted through town along Railway Ave that’s due for an upgrade.
“We’re probably going to spend some working on Railway and trying to get it upgraded so trucks can go down and around there properly,” said Poggemiller.
The work through Kerrobert is part of two summer highways projects valued at $21.4 million.
Highway crews will be in the area all summer rebuilding 35.6 kilometres of road from Highway 21 through Kerrobert west to the Major access road on Highway 51.
This work is expected to be finished this summer. Also, grading work will be completed on about 20 kilometres of road west of Kerrobert.
“It desperately needs to be redone,” said Poggemiller about the two projects.
He also noted the volume of oilfield traffic that took a toll on the old pavement hasn’t slowed down that much in the downturn.
Poggemiller said a lot of oilfield projects are finishing while others are ramping up which will put more trucks on the roads.
►Inter Pipeline Ltd. will spend $65 million this year on a crude oil storage tank expansion at the Kerrobert Terminal on their Mid-Saskatchewan pipeline system.
Plains Midstream Canada has been hiring instrumentation technicians, rail engineers, loaders and supervisors for the expected mid 2015 start-up of its crude by rail facility near Kerrobert Terminal.
“They’re still working at the rail hub and probably will be for a little while,” said Poggemiller.
The initial capacity of the terminal will be one unit train or 70,000 barrels of oil per day with the capacity to expand to 140,000 bpd.
Plains currently operates a one million barrel storage facility in Kerrobert
The rail terminal will connect into Plains’ Manito Pipeline system and the Enbridge Inc. system, and be served by Canadian Pacific Railway.
The facility is located on Pipeline Road across from the proposed $100 million crude-by-rail project proposed by Torq Transloading in August 2013 to carry up 168,000 bpd of crude oil.
“I haven’t talked to the Torq guys lately, but the last I heard they were still planning on moving ahead with their project later on this summer or early fall,” said Poggemiller.
In the meantime, the town continues to work on tackling its housing shortage to accommodate the expected influx of oilfield construction crews in the area.
“We’re looking at developing some more lots in town for sale and develop a new subdivision,” said Poggemiller.
“We’ve been doing a fair bit of work on that subdivision towards the south and west of town.”
Poggemiller also said the repaving of the main street will trigger the immediate construction start of a new motel to begin in June on Pacific Ave.
He expects to hear more in the coming weeks about the status of hotel and commercial development proposed in September 2013 by Al-Sask Ventures at the west end of town.
“There is talk financing came through for another hotel,” he said noting that could mean a fall construction start if it comes true.