Sask.'s first diverging diamond interchange opens east of Regina
Motorists east of Regina will now have to learn how to navigate a diverging diamond interchange.
Opening nearly two years ahead of schedule, it’s a first of its kind for Saskatchewan and only the second one in Canada.
For the first trip, cars were guided carefully through by Regina Bypass employees. Now drivers are learning how to make their way through this unique intersection.
"I think it's a good day for everybody because the primary reason we embarked on the Regina Bypass project was to improve safety on some of the busiest highways in the Regina area,” said Doug Wakabayashi with the Ministry of Highways. “We've accomplished that by opening the interchange here today.”
The design is meant to help ease traffic flow and improve access to the town of Pilot Butte.
How it works is all about the signals. When crossing the Trans-Canada highway, cars will arrive at set of traffic lights, where cars are shifted to the opposite side of the road. They cross back over to the regular right hand side, at the second set of traffic lights.
"We've reduced the number of locations where there's potential for a collision by about half,” Wakabayashi said. “The conflict points that do exist now, they'll be more of a side swipe to of collision if they do happen and at much lower speeds which reduces the risk of fatality and injury.”
Reducing fatalities is a topic close to Wanda Campbell's heart.
"We decided that something needed to be done, something needed to happen,” Campbell said. “We started to lobby for safer roads for our communities."
Campbell’s 17-year old son, Lane, died in a car accident at this intersection in 2013 on his way to get ice cream in White City.
She hopes the government is right, and this new interchange will improve safety.
"Yes I think there was always hope, there was always hope that something big was going to be done to make this whole 17 kilometres safe for everyone,” Campbell said. “Of course, my heart belongs to this one for that exact reason that Lane was killed here. So this one is especially significant for me."