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Estevan city council receives update on downtown revitalization project

Michael Walker with Associated Engineering discussed the latest on the project.
Work is underway in the 1100-block of Fourth Street.

ESTEVAN - Estevan city council received an update on the ongoing downtown revitalization project during Monday night's meeting.

Michael Walker with Associated Engineering told council the project is proceeding well. The city has received $7.75 million through the federal government's Canada Coal Transition Initiative, administered by PrairiesCan, for the revitalization of the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Fourth Street. The city is contributing $1.5 million for the underground work in those two blocks. 

"We have identified some contamination in multiple areas on the site. We are dealing with that right now," said Walker.

Ludwig said the contaminated ground was due to a business at the intersection of Fourth Street and 11th Avenue that had gas pumps.

Two-part contracts have been awarded, Walker said, and a couple of local sub-contractors have been selected.

"We've got all the civil undergrounds in the first part, and the second part, once those prices are coming back, we are going to be working towards that budget, of the approved scope, in the original project," said Walker. "So, we have to figure out how we fit that in."

When asked by Coun. Travis Frank about the phasing of the project, Walker said they are starting with the 1100-block. Sidewalks are largely open for that block.

"That was working with the Downtown Business Association to leave that sidewalk open as long as possible, and then at some point, we will have to delete that access, but we will be working with them to make sure that we try to do that with as short of a disruption as possible."

Coun. Shelly Veroba wanted to know if there will be businesses with zero access to customers. Walker responded they have minimized that risk, but there are one or two cases where there is no suitable back access. In those cases, they have been working with the businesses to modify access to get into the businesses through other means.

"The goal is that at all times, they will have access to the business or place of residence, whether that's from the front or the back entrance, or we have to modify through an alternate back entrance through, in one case, an interior wall," said Walker.

Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Associated Engineering.

In a news release issued last week, the city said the project's construction will expand to the 1200-block in an estimated five to six weeks. The intersection of Fourth Street and 12th Avenue will remain open as long as possible to assist with traffic flow through the downtown core.

Updates are to be posted on the downtown revitalization section of the city's website every two weeks throughout the construction period.

The Concerned Citizens Estevan SK group was slated to appear before council at Monday night's meeting to discuss ongoing concerns with the downtown project, but they weren't able to attend. They also wanted to speak about their petition, which was declared insufficient last week. Monday's meeting came five days after a special council meeting on the petition's sufficiency.