It’s been an interesting few months for staff and customers of Bashaw’s UFA location.
The facility and site — located at the corner of Hwy. 53 and 50 (Main) St. — has been under re-construction and is now nearly complete for this year. The office and warehouse are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the cardlock is open 24 hours.
Agent Wayne Heck explained, in an interview, that the entire site was scheduled for an overall makeover, but the pandemic kind of threw a wrench into those plans.
“We have new tanks, pumps, cardlock and a different set up of the site,” Heck said.
“Not everything is completed, just a few little jobs left to do. The original plan included a new larger office and warehouse, pretty much where the existing structures are, but that has been delayed until next year.
“With some of the cutbacks everywhere due to COVID-19, those things just couldn’t be done in time this year.”
The UFA did continue to operate throughout the construction work, which began about three months ago.
However, with everything being cut back, business slowed somewhat during that time, but not due to the project.
“It was certainly a lot quieter during the past several months and not a lot of traffic coming through,” said Heck.
“There was a big drop as the oil and gas sector cut back considerably and there were wasn’t a lot of commercial traffic and big trucks. However, agriculture services remained consistent and there was some other steady traffic.”
Heck added that, given the pandemic, all of the work that was needed — site preparation, new underground services, hook ups and concrete work — was done pretty quickly.
“We had some temporary pumps and did have to take our truck to fill up at other locations, most of the time that was Lacombe,” he noted.
“The hope is that as things start to get back towards normal. We got through it and so far, business seems to be getting busier than it was before.”