Tenders have been awarded for phases 1 and 2 of the Municipality of Rhineland's priority grain roads project. The $4.8 million effort will see about 50 kilometers of the area's rural roads upgraded in the next three years. 

The contract for Phase 1, which involves building about a half-mile of concrete roads in both of the Municipality's industrial parks was awarded to Bituminex for about $2.3 million.

"That was the lowest bid," said Reeve Don Wiebe. "Now, it was a little over our estimate by about $120,000 but I think we are happy with this. If things go really well, this will be covered off through a contingency fund."

Work is slated to begin this year. 

Precision Land Solutions was awarded the contract for Phase 2, set to happen in 2023, for $798,000. It will see drain tile installed along the entire priority grain road network. The intent is to better secure the road surfaces. 

"(To) make it more stable and more firm, and keep it that way," explained Wiebe. "We are certainly hoping it will help with the frost boils, to get rid of the excess moisture under the roads."

Wiebe admitted, this is a bit of an experiment. 

"This is something we're trying. The research we've done on it looks pretty good and we'll be watching it, and I think some other people may take an interest in it too if it really helps with stabilizing gravel roads."

However, Council is holding off on awarding the tender for Phase 3, set to take place in 2024. Wiebe noted, inflation contributed to the decision to pull the already-posted gravel tender. 

"Just delay it a bit until it (the date) gets closer because of the unpredictability of prices and fuel costs and all of that kind of stuff," he said.