After years of delays, the City of Estevan has finally decided to move ahead with a grade separation study.
A tender to conduct a study was formally approved at Monday's regular meeting of city council. According to info provided to the media, the study will research the best location to construct an overpass/underpass, something that has long been desired by Estevan drivers tired of waiting for trains at one of the three railway crossings in the city.
"They'll determine where the best place for it is, although we have a pretty good idea because we actually own the land where it probably should go," said Mayor Gary St. Onge after Monday's meeting. "I guess the main thing is what it would cost."
Although the City is moving ahead with the study, it does not mean an overpass/underpass is likely to be constructed anytime in the near future. However, St. Onge noted if some federal money happens to come available, the City would be prepared to move.
"Before when there was federal programs in place, if you could say, OK, this is the cost, or you had everything in place shovel-ready, that makes a big difference," said St. Onge. "(Souris-Moose Mountain MP) ED Komarnicki did say at some point he always was in favour of doing something if we could find a way of getting funds.
As you know, the federal government is not looking at spending much money in the next little while, but that could change pretty quick, especially if you have an election."
Along with determining cost and the best location, the study will also delve into such matters as whether an overpass or an underpass makes the most sense for Estevan, what impact would there be to existing infrastructure, determining Canadian Pacific Railway's requirements and identifying the risks associated with such a move with respect to traffic/ground disruption and proximity with existing developments.
Associated Engineering, a consulting firm with offices across Canada, was awarded the tender to complete the study at a cost of $53,471. The City had budgeted $75,000 for the study.