Maryse Carmichael, Moose Jaw’s city manager, confirmed in an interview with that the 0 block of Main Street is on the cast iron replacement agenda this year. 

Carmichael laid out some of the timeline and explained the measures the city is taking to reduce construction impacts on businesses, tourists, and residents. 

“It is the time of the year where our tenders are out, where we’re preparing for construction season. Cast iron has been the reality for Moose Jaw residents for a few years already, and this year, yes, some notable places, including the 0 block of Main Street, (are due) for cast iron (replacement). 

“This will, of course, impact our residents, impact visitors to the city, but we are doing a few things to ensure that we minimize the impact as much as we can.” 

Carmichael acknowledged complaints about the general road conditions on the section of Main in question — between City Hall and Manitoba — and said that those rough patches were also anticipated to be smoothed out this year. 

“We’ll know in the next few weeks exactly which areas we’re going to go forward with around town. But for sure on the list is, yes, cast iron for the 0 block of Main Street and then repaving ... from Manitoba to Fairford.” 

Carmichael said that tenders will close March 13, which will then allow administration to determine the exact scope of Moose Jaw’s roadwork in 2024. 

“It will take just a few weeks to see what we have from the various subcontractors,” she explained, “and then we will have the full list. 

“We are already planning an open house for the property owners that are affected, for the 27th of March.” 

The time and location for that open house event has not yet been set. Carmichael said letters would be sent directly to affected property owners to make sure they are aware of the opportunity. 

In April, a virtual open house for the public will also be held to inform the greater population of Moose Jaw about all the projects.  

City Hall is fully cognizant of the importance of Main Street to business in the city — and especially to the tourism industry, which makes up a major part of Moose Jaw’s economy. 

Carmichael and Mayor Clive Tolley will meet with business owners and associations such as Tourism Moose Jaw and the Downtown Moose Jaw Association to find ways to keep disruptions down. 

In addition, contractors on the project will need to work around a hard-set ‘blackout period’ for the months of July and August. 

“We know Sidewalk Days is such an important weekend in the city,” Carmichael said. “We will work around those dates for sure and stay away from the busy downtown tourist period. 

“We’re looking forward to having a beautiful, repaved Main Street.”