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Ministry moves ahead with plans to tear up Balgonie highway access
Published Thursday, May 10, 2018 5:23PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, May 10, 2018 6:26PM CST
Action was taken on Thursday to remove Balgonie’s Main Street access to the Trans-Canada Highway.
The government is closing the crossing due to safety concerns.
Many in the community, including Jesse Edwards, feel the move will hurt businesses in the area. Edwards parked his half-ton truck in front of an excavating machine to stop it from tearing up the road.
“They weren’t supposed to tear it out,” Edwards told CTV News on Thursday. “They said they were going to give us lots of time to come up with a solution. But, apparently by lots of time, they meant four months in the dead of winter with three feet of snow on the ground. So, we don’t feel we’ve had any chance to actually plan.”
Regina Bypass officials intervened, telling Edwards work on the area would be delayed by one day. Edwards told them he would return on Friday.
But just moments after he left, the excavator went into action and began work on the road.
Edwards returned later on Thursday and said he felt he had been deceived.
“They told me they would come back tomorrow,” he said. “I assured them I would get out of the way so they could pull the fence posts out, left for 10 minutes, and they come and do this.”
Bypass officials say it was a miscommunication, adding they had issued a stop-work order.
The Minister of Highways and Infrastructure David Marit says the road must be taken out.
“That access was dangerous and it had to be removed,” he told reporters on Thursday. “Let’s be very clear, this is all about safety.”
Crews did leave the scene once they were told to stop working. They are expected to return on Friday morning to finish the job.
With files from CTV Regina's Wayne Mantyka