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Province mulls changes to Balgonie overpass; farmer says roundabout too narrow
Published Monday, July 31, 2017 5:20PM CST
The province is considering changes to the newly opened Balgonie overpass.
The overpass opened to traffic last week – the first portion of the Regina bypass project to do so.
However, since then, drivers have raised concerns about the size of the roundabout in the bypass.
Ryan Leibel farms near Balgonie. He told CTV News he was initially excited for the new overpass, but said it’s difficult to maneuver his equipment through the roundabout.
“I tried to take the maiden voyage across and try it out,” Leibel said Saturday. “I realized quickly it wasn’t quite wide enough.”
The access lanes to the overpass are 4.5 meters wide, though many farm vehicles are considerably wider. Leibel said he found scuff marks and scratches on his tires after going through the overpass.
On Monday, the Saskatchewan government said it’s considering small changes that could help ease the journey for farm equipment.
“Maybe we can use a rounded type of curbing instead of a square or vertical-faced curbing and use that on one side,” said Dave Stearns, executive director of major projects with the Ministry of Highways.
“But certainly, the farm equipment will be able to go through.”
Stearns didn’t give a timeline for any changes, saying the province still needs to decide what, if any, changes will be made to the roundabout.
Semi-tractor trailer operators have also raised issues with the roundabout, saying it doesn’t give them room to maneuver through the lanes. However, Stearns said the roundabout is designed to handle them.
The roundabout has a red curb, called an apron, which is to be used by long trailers to make it through the overpass. Stearns said if drivers follow the markings and obey the speed limit, they shouldn’t have a problem.