Friday, 01 June 2018 04:00

Council approves deal for paving of Swift Current Airport access road

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The City of Swift Current will go ahead with an unplanned project in the 2018 capital budget to make use of an opportunity to pave the access and other roads at the Swift Current Airport.


Councillors approved a recommendation at a regular council meeting on May 22 for the paving of the southern access roads and air terminal parking lot at the airport by Delta Aggregates at a price of $152,375 (PST included, but GST excluded).
The work will be completed during the 2018 construction season. Mitch Minken, the City’s general manager of infrastructure and operations, said this opportunity came about as a result of a project being undertaken by the Rural Municipality (R.M.) of Swift Current No. 137.
Last fall the R.M. of Swift Current entered into an agreement with Delta Aggregates to pave Airport Road over a distance of 6.4 kilometres from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s research station to the R.M.’s eastern boundary.
“When the R.M. made the arrangement with Delta to go ahead and pave the road, it was an opportunity that we saw,” he noted.
The City therefore requested Delta Aggregates to provide a quotation for the paving of the gravel roads at the airport.
“They provided a price that was substantially below what our current price is in the city paving,” he said. “So it was an opportunity that we had to work hard to make sure we could take advantage of.”
This price is only available in 2018 while Delta is doing the work for the R.M of Swift Current. The City therefore decided to go ahead with this expense, even though it was not included in the 2018 capital budget.
“Obviously this contractor has a major advantage of being mobilized and being working in the area to do the work,” he said. “It wasn’t part of our 2018 contract that we tendered. So it was free work that we were able to assign, given that it was lower than our last tender was at. It made it seem the way it should go.”
The funds for this expense will be reallocated from other projects in the 2018 capital budget, but it does not mean the other projects will actually be cancelled to allow this one to go ahead.
“Now that our budgeting cycle is further ahead, we’re looking out 18 months or more ahead,” he explained. “So obviously we put some projects in and for various reasons those projects aren’t ready to go at the time that we think they may be. … Some of those projects that we reallocated funds from will be deferred in 2019. Most of them were not going to get completed in 2018 for various reasons anyway. So we’ll just re-budget those in 2019.”
The paving of the southern access roads and the air terminal parking lot will have noticeable benefits for users of the facility.
“We have a number of people who use the airport,” he said. “So obviously not having to travel over that gravel will definitely be a benefit for them, but it’s mostly about dust and mud control on the airfield. That’s the most important benefit of it. We’re constantly trying to keep the pavement clean, sweeping it and all the rest of it. So by having it paved now, that will help us to maintain that cleanliness.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

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