Province unsure of when paving project will be completed

Alex Di Pietro
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After citing delays due to weather and contractor scheduling, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways says it doesn’t know when work on a 13-kilometre stretch between Prince Albert and Macdowall will be completed.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure says it's uncertain when a stretch of 13 kilometres on Highway 11 between Macdowall and Prince Albert will be paved.

The project would complete the twinning of the highway between Prince Albert and Saskatoon, allowing for an extra lane heading both north and south.

Former Minister of Highways and Infrastructure Jim Reiter said the hope was to have construction finished by the end of this construction year.

However, the ministry won’t put a date on completion.

“It’s too early to say at this time. We’re certainly not going to concede anything yet,” said Steve Shaheen, communications consultant with the ministry of highways and infrastructure. “But due to the unpredictability of the weather and contractor schedules, we’re a little bit behind.

“The construction season is still underway and can still last late into the fall, of course depending on the weather,” Shaheen added.

Shaheen said progress was slowed by the amount of rainfall in the spring and early summer.

“The contractor is scheduled to mobilize this week, with start-up for servicing beginning over the long weekend,” he said. “Weather delayed the grading, which began earlier this summer and was completed a few weeks ago. And now, the contractor’s able to move in.”

Construction workers onsite have said they don’t believe the road will open until the middle of next summer.

“The best-case scenario would be that it would be completed later this fall if the weather holds up. The worst-case scenario would be that it would have to carry over into the next construction season,” Shaheen said.

The paving for a stretch from Rosthern to south of Duck Lake began Monday, and the paving for a stretch from north of Duck Lake to south of Macdowall is nearing completion.

Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Duck Lake, Rosthern Macdowall

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