A southwest bridge over six decades old will receive some much-needed upgrades in the Rural Municipality of Pinto Creek No. 75.

The bridge was selected as one of 12 rural bridging projects in Sask. to receive funding from both the provincial and federal governments to improve infrastructure. 

Roxanne Empey, administrator for the Rural Municipality of Pinto Creek, is overcome by the approval for the funding and is looking forward to beginning work on the project.

"We actually have several bridges in the R.M. that are all getting old," said Empey. "We wanted to start a plan to start replacing them, and this bridge is the next one on our list that needed the most repair and is getting to a point where it has to be replaced."

The Rural Municipality of Pinto Creek applied for funding about a year and a half ago for the bridge which was built in 1962.

"It's very narrow so any equipment or machinery passing over it, we have ongoing trouble with people hitting the rails," Empey noted. "So it's kind of a safety issue as well."

The government announced last week that $49,568 will be provided through federal funding, $99,107 will come from provincial funding, and Pinto Creek will be responsible for covering the remaining $148,675.

"We have a capital replacement plan, so we actually have been putting money away with the idea that all these bridges are eventually going to need replacing," Empey said when asked how they plan to fund their portion of the funding. 

The company that will be responsible for the work is still being discussed but should be released within the next few months. 

"We're hoping to have it done by the end of next winter," said Empey. "It will likely be late fall when they start."

The overall cost of replacing the bridge is estimated to be around $325,000, and funding for a project like this is costly and can weigh heavily on the resident taxpayers of small communities.

"So having a grant that pays for a portion of it is a huge benefit," Empey added. "I think it's a wonderful program and I sure hope they keep it going."