Many Swift Current residents didn’t believe the announcement by the city; the Overpass would be open today. On Sunday at approximately 7:30 pm the barricades came down and traffic slowly started to go across. This morning’s commute was greeted warmly by those who, since May 2nd, 2016, have been trapped behind long trains and even longer trains since September 1st, 2016.
The bridge was originally opened on June 22, 1960. It changed the way residents traveled as there were not more hold ups with trains. The bridge has seen a few upgrades as the deck has been refinished a few times with new asphalt and there were some minor repairs over the 56 years the bridge has been in operation. This was the first time it had been closed for an extended period of time for repairs.
Mitch Minken, Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, said, “This will give us potentially 40 more years of use after the project is completed.” The roadway has been rebuilt from the substructure to the road deck. The east walkway has been taken out and the west walkway has been increased in width with proper barricades and railings to keep pedestrians safe. The roadway was also widened to give more room for drivers.
Due to the designs of the walkway, the city also purchased a Wille 265 Tractor. It comes with a snow blower, rotary brush, sand spreader, and plow for $178,851.75 + GST. The budget for the purchase was $160,000. The additional expense will be absorbed in the overall equipment purchase budget from savings made on other purchases.
The commute from the South side to the North side of the city is back to its 1.5 minutes. What was started to be referred to as Swift Currents Rush hour can now return to the regular rush minute.