Regina Bypass will be completely open to traffic on Tuesday

The largest transportation infrastructure project in the history of Saskatchewan is now complete as the Regina Bypass will be 100 per cent open to traffic on Tuesday.

Premier Scott Moe and Highways and Infrastructure Minister Greg Ottenbreit held a special ceremony to celebrate the opening of the massive project. The ceremony took place on a windy Monday morning at the Highway 11 overpass near Pinkie Road just west of the Queen City.

Other dignitaries, workers and members of the public gathered inside a tent as speakers shared their thoughts on the opening of a project that has been active for the last few years.

Premier Moe said it’s a massive investment that will boost the transportation of goods, reduce traffic congestion on the highways, and improve driver safety.

“We’ll focus on ensuring we can continue to move our export based products in and out of our capital city, but most certainly a project that is focused on the safety of our families,” said Moe.

Wanda Campbell from Pilot Butte has been an advocate for the project after her 17-year-old son Lane Antosh passed way in a motor vehicle accident in August 2013 on Highway 1 East.

He was travelling to White City to get food at Dairy Queen. Lane was hit by a truck when making a left turn at the intersection at the corner of Pilot Butte on Highway 1.

Wanda Campbell has been lobbying for more safety on Highway 1 after her son Lane passed away when he was involved in a motor vehicle collision in August 2013. L-R: Wanda’s daughter Lindsay Antosh, Lane Antosh, Wanda Campbell. (Photo courtesy of Wanda Campbell)

She said people from their community no longer have to worry about travelling on that highway thanks to the Regina Bypass.

“There were people from our community who were passing away or were involved in accidents,” she stated. “None of us have to fear travelling anymore. It’s huge.”

White City fire chief Randy Schulz called it a glorious day.

After listening to Campbell’s speech and the impact this will have on surrounding communities such as his, he mentioned how the infrastructure will bring a reduction in vehicle collisions on their highways.

Schulz noted that the bypass allows him and his firefighters to use the energy they used in the past when helping out at accident scenes to be more proactive in getting people to be safer in their community.

“Those accidents where somebody made a bad decision – those are gone – because we don’t allow people to engage at intersections anymore and we spin them through the bypass,” he said.

“Since the first phase of the bypass opened, we haven’t used our Jaws of Life.”

The government estimates there will be 2 to 3 million dollars in annual cost savings from property damage, injuries and fatalities thanks to the bypass.

Premier Moe, Minister Ottenbreit and others participated in an alternative to a ribbon cutting by moving barricades off the road and driving vehicles on the new stretch of road from the project.

Regular traffic will begin to flow through the Regina Bypass starting tomorrow.

(Files from Drew Postey)




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