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Construction in downtown Regina forces long backups, city officials frustrated

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Construction in downtown Regina is causing chaos and long backups for drivers.

On Saskatchewan Drive and 11th Avenue, drivers have waited bumper to bumper to get through the gridlock. This also has city officials disappointed.

"Frustrated to say the least. I heard last night that someone was on their third route to get downtown,” Mayor Sandra Masters said on Tuesday.

The construction is all part of the four year 11th Avenue Revitalization project this year.

SaskTel and SaskPower are leading the construction with the work shutting down several blocks on both 11th Avenue and Saskatchewan Drive.

Four hundred meters of underground cable is being installed. SaskPower invested $13.5-million to replace over four kilometers of underground cable.

"It’s substantial work that we have to take on to make sure that we can continue providing reliable power for the downtown area,” Scott McGregor, the spokesperson for SaskPower, said.

This type of work happens on a yearly basis by SaskPower. McGregor said the company is aware of the concerns of motorists.

"It's something that we are certainly aware of and everyone's patience and understanding is certainly appreciated."

Masters said the construction is unfortunate timing with the weather warming up and wanting to attract more people to the downtown.

She added the projects may require more traffic mitigation, but that is an expense that is not in the city’s budget.

"This is really about, SaskPower goes in and does its work and then how does the city respond in terms of making sure we are moving people as they need to move and not frustrating them unnecessarily," she said.

Flag people are set up from 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., at the construction site to help with the flow of traffic. If the bottleneck of cars continues, SaskPower said they will revaluate.

This phase of the project is expected to be completed this year.

Sask. Drive is scheduled to reopen to traffic in August and 11th Avenue is scheduled to reopen at the end of October. 

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