Highways carry the majority of goods in and out of Swift Current and can be costly to upkeep due to all that heavy traffic.

That's why the City of Swift Current is happy to have renewed its Urban Highway Connector Program (UHCP) with the government of Saskatchewan, via the Ministry of Highways.

While towns and cities are responsible for highways and service roads that run through their municipalities, the UHCP was first conceived in 2009 as a way to help ease the burden of those upkeep costs, by establishing maintenance funding based on provincial interest generated by the number of goods and services the communities feed into the provincial economy.

Presenting the renewed UHCP to the city council was General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations for the City of Swift Current, Mitch Minken.

"The UHCP roadways are comprised of highways one and four," detailed Minken. "Including on and off ramps and the service roads."

Under the new agreement, the Ministry of Highways will continue to be 100 per cent responsible for the Trans-Canada Highway. The City will get an annual grant of nearly $42,000 for an estimated 75 per cent of the maintenance cost for roads inside Swift Current's municipality.

Those roads are Memorial Drive from Springs Drive to Saskatchewan Drive, as well as Memorial Drive from the north end of the baseball diamonds to the railroad tracks. The grant also covers service road maintenance fees.

"The term of the agreement is for a ten-year period," said Minken. "Effective April 1, 2022."

Maintaining and operating these roadways usually entails illumination, line painting, mowing, asphalt repairs, and snow/ice control.

This agreement sees the Ministry of Highways fully committed to funding the next rehabilitation of connector and non-connector service roads. They will continue to provide funding until non-connector roads are completely rehabilitated.