More concern and alarm has been set off with the Regina Bypass project.
Out on the east end of it, provincial NDP MLA and Highways critic Buckley Belanger and Balgonie resident Jesse Edwards spoke about an issue with the bypass.
That issue is a gaping hole near the Tower Road Bridge overpass, as well as significant erosion in the area underneath the same section.
“We were alerted by a concerned citizen that there was a large washout under the overpass behind us here,” said Edwards. “What we saw was there was actually a hole at one point in the top of the overpass. Underneath it, there was a large cavern approximately five feet in, approximately 20 feet down, heading down the hill.”
Belanger said it’s just another in a series of issues with the project.
(VIDEO: Saskatchewan NDP)
“We’re paying hundreds of millions of dollars on this bypass over the next 30 years,” he said. “It is a significant amount of money that we’re paying. And our argument is, if you’re going to paying that kind of money, then it should be a darn good project.”
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In response, Deputy Minister for Highways and Infrastructure Fred Antunes said he doesn’t believe this is a safety concern.
“It’s very common when you have bridges built around this area, that once you put weight on top of the soil, you do get some consolidation of the underlying materials over time.”
With the soil around the Regina area being naturally soft, it’s going to be a common occurrence.
“What may be happening is the water goes off the edge of the bridge, runs around the embankment and maybe you get a washout because the water is kind of channeled in different areas,” noted Antunes.
The Deputy Minister noted the “dip”, his term for the hole, has been patched over and Regina Bypass Design Builders (RBDB), the consortium wholly responsible for the project, are working on repairing it.