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Estevan city council selects general contractor for Fourth Street project

Work has already started on the affected blocks of Fourth Street.
A conceptual design of how Fourth Street in downtown Estevan could look.

ESTEVAN - The work is underway on the downtown revitalization project for the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Fourth Street.

Estevan city council selected the general contractor for the project during Monday night's meeting. In a report to council, city manager Jeff Ward wrote there was only one bidder. The submission amount was for $10,661,792 and was awarded to ASL Paving.

Now that the contractor has been awarded, Ward said the project, the city and Associated Engineering can reduce the scope of the project or change parts of the design to ensure they are within the budget.

"ASL has done work in this type of project very recently and very successfully, and I think they are a qualified contractor, and through all the rating and grading that Associated Engineering gave them, they had a very high score," Ward said.

Associated Engineering completed a request for qualification for the downtown revitalization project and recommended ASL Paving.

The federal government has granted the city $7.75 million through the Canada Coal Transition Initiative, administered by PrairiesCan.

Coun. Shelly Veroba said she has received quite a few inquiries about the project, and she said it was good to have people reach out and spark conversation. A lot of those who called her just wanted to have questions answered.

"Once we had the conversations with those who reached out, I would say all the people I spoke with were satisfied, and they were appreciative of the $7.75 million … federal grant … that is coming to the City of Estevan and not going to one of the other cities that would have been on the list had we been denied funds," said Veroba.

Coun. Rebecca Foord added that now the general contractor is in place, they will be able to answer a lot more questions.

"We are more than happy to have that dialogue and to keep those conversations open, and when we know, everyone else will know," said Foord.

Some work on the project has already started. The 1100 block of Fourth Street was closed, with no through traffic for both east and westbound vehicles, on Sunday morning due to construction work. This closure included the sidewalks.

Also, on March 29, the 1200 block of Fourth Street will be closed with no through traffic affecting both east and westbound traffic from 6 a.m.-noon due to construction work. This closure includes north and south sidewalks.

Detour signs will be in place for eastbound traffic detouring to Third Street and westbound traffic detouring to Fifth Street.

Tree removal is happening on both blocks. 

While the work has started, there is still opposition to the project. The Concerned Citizens Estevan Sk group continues to collect signatures for a petition. They were circulating the community on the weekend as they try to collect enough signatures for a referendum on the project.

For the referendum to occur, the petition would need to have signatures from 10 per cent of Estevan's residents; according to the 2021 federal census, Estevan's population was 10,851, so it would need more than 1,085 signatures.

An informal meeting was held with downtown businesses on Friday night at the Estevan Leisure Centre's multi-purpose room, which gave the companies the chance to ask questions about the project.