Initial work on Regina’s new bypass is now underway, but the route remains under contention.

Surveying for the $1.2-billion project is scheduled to continue over the next few weeks. Private contractors are also test drilling at the sites of future traffic interchanges.

“Impacts on traffic should be minimal for the most part,” said Highways and Infrastructure spokesperson Joel Cherry.

“But there are going to be occasions where reduced speeds are required and we are going to be closing lanes for short periods of time during non-peak flow traffic hours."

The Regina bypass route remains controversial. It will cut through a portion of the Super Seamless property on the eastern outskirts of the city. The owners have erected signs opposing the project.

Opponents say the government could have saved a significant amount of money by going north around the city instead of south. They hope to make it a provincial election issue.

“We are looking for candidates that want to keep the government accountable and to actually go against the people who made this decision," said Nestor Mryglod with the Regina Committee for an Alternative Bypass Solution.

The NDP is also weighing in at the start of preconstruction.

"We need a bypass but we need an actual bypass and one that's going to serve us today and well into the future,” said NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon.

“The location that the government has chosen just doesn't make any sense. It doesn't divert truck traffic; it's located right within the city."

The government says years of planning and public consultation went into the selection of the bypass route and, despite the opposition, it will not be changing.

Based on a report by CTV Regina’s Wayne Mantyka