Saskatchewan Avenue West has now seen the completion of new upgrades between 7th and 13th St West. Director of Operations Jocelyn Lequier-Jobin says the City paved an active transportation path and finished most of the landscaping.

"There's still a little bit of landscaping left on that section, but a lot of it has been completed. So, that part is basically done," says Lequier-Jobin. "We've got the new signals in at 12th and 8th St. Those are nice to have, and some of the bases were in the sidewalk area. Those are getting removed soon, too."


She explains the next section from 13th out to 20th streets has almost all of the rock base in place. This means work can start very shortly on the curbing for that section. 

"That'll take a few weeks and once the curbing's in, they can then do the paving and we'll have all the way to 20th completed. Meanwhile, we're also working from 20th out to Elm Street. That section won't see the digging out of the entire road. We're just widening it out and then we'll be milling the pavement and adding new pavement, as well as new median through that section. On that section, we've put in some of the new bioswales, the plantings, and drainage in the ditches there. There's a little bit more to do further from 20th out to Elm, so that will all get upgraded."

Jocelyn Lequier-JobinJocelyn Lequier-Jobin

Lequier-Jobin notes they're also working on the sidewalks and active transportation for that section. She says the surveying is completed, and they'll be putting in the actual paths very soon.

"The sidewalk that's going in soon on the North side will be an asphalt active transportation path. That will join into the Fisher path at the tracks there. That will be asphalt all the way from 18th to 20th, which is done. But the 20th to the tracks will be going in the next few weeks. It stops at the tracks and it keeps going to the school."

benchesCompleted sidewalk on left and bike path on right - with beautiful benches

She adds there's already a path from the railway and is gravel. However, it'll join into the existing pathway system. 

"The concrete sidewalk will go all the way up to the lights at Shindleman. And then we'll also put a crossing across the sidewalk so that school kids can get into Westpark School that way. We're still looking to be completed by late summer/early fall, which is right on schedule. We've had a few delays due to rain, obviously, but we don't expect it to be a serious concern. We've been able to get enough work in between the rain showers to not really seriously slow down construction. Hopefully, we get lots of dry weather in the next couple months, and we shouldn't have any issues getting done on time."

Lequier-Jobin stresses they're very much focused on completing the 18th St W area, noting the new signals are to be installed, She describes that area as a bit of a pinch point for traffic.

"So we're looking forward to that being done in the next couple weeks to get the signals changed out and all the sidewalks in that area. The businesses there have had a lot of disruptions. We really appreciate their patience on this and it's a very busy intersection, so it will be great for everyone once that's completed in the next few weeks."

Taylor Schiller owns Portage GR8Wash on Saskatchewan Ave. and says he's quite happy with the project wrapping up.

"It was kind of tough last year, especially with the lane right in front of us all torn up. But now that it's all coming together -- the landscaping, the flowers are going in the Potters -- it's starting to really pay off some of that heartache we had to go through." 

He notes it's going to be very nice to not see orange cones in front of the location anymore. Schiller adds it will bring a little more access into all the businesses around him, including himself, and have a nice smooth road to drive on.

"The community really helped us out as far as making that extra effort to get to the wash through all the construction," adds Schiller. "The community has been very good, I think, for all the businesses that have been affected by this construction; going the extra mile to make sure that they're supporting in the best way they can, which is getting chicken, washing your car, getting some pizza, and anything like that. It helps out for sure."