Moosomin town council and the RM of Moosomin sat down with Saskatchewan Highways in a meeting in Moosomin last Thursday to discuss the potential for a bypass around Moosomin as well as repairs to Highway 8 running through Moosomin.
The town is concerned about the volume of large trucks on Main Street, and would like to reroute Highway 8 truck traffic around Moosomin. Because Main Street is Highway 8, and the government covers highway repair costs, they also wondered if Sask Highways would consider repairing Main Street.
Sask Highways’ Doug Kelly and Matt Stephenson met with the town and RM. The town was told that nothing is going to happen with repairs to Moosomin’s Main Street any time soon.
“We asked when the rehab’s going to happen and it’s not going to happen next year. It has to be part of another (highway) project and they don’t have any projects in the area right now,” says Town Administrator Paul Listrom.
“I would say he’s talking two to three years at least, minimum,” says Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson. “They don’t think it’s in as rough a shape as we do, I guess.”
The town receives a maintenance grant of $7,000 a year under the Urban Highway Connector Program, and is expected to do minor repairs on the road.
The town is planning to do some repairs on Main Street when paving crews are in town in October, but Tomlinson says the $7,000 doesn’t go very far.
The town and RM also discussed the possibility of a bypass around Moosomin to get heavy truck traffic off of Main Street. They were told that the first step would be entering into a partnership with Sask Highways and having a study done to determine what the best route for a bypass would be.
“To get things started on that they asked if we would be willing to do some kind of partnership where you show an initiative, and that brings it higher on the ranking scale for the province,” says Listrom. “They’re thinking a study might be between $20,000 and $40,000 and they would cover 75 per cent of the cost and the town and RM would cover 25 per cent.”
“We verbally agreed to that, but it has to go to council to be finalized,” says Tomlinson.
That study could get underway in 2016, according to Sask Highways.
The town and RM were told by Sask Highways that they could go ahead with building a truck route around the town, however if a true bypass were ever built around Moosomin, that truck route would have to fit into Sask Highways’ long-term plan.
“If we do a truck route and are building roads, they’d like the short-term plan that we put in place to somehow fit with the long-term plan that they might come up with through the engineering,” says Listrom.
“We’ve got to start with a partnership if we’re going to push it forward,” says Tomlinson.
“We’ve got to wait until we get the study until we know where we’re even going. We can do some short-term stuff if we want to get the truck traffic off of main street.”
Tomlinson says he was hoping that by meeting with Sask Highways, the town and RM would find out that more could be done sooner. “I think I was looking for a clearer picture going forward, but to me it’s a long ways out at this point,” he says.
As for building a truck route, Tomlinson says more discussion is needed.
“We’ll have to have more meetings with the RM,” he says. “The RM left saying ‘you contact us and we’ll go forward from there.’ ”