The long-awaited Regina Bypass finally opened last Tuesday, October 29, 2019. This marked the completion and opening of the last portion of Saskatchewan’s largest infrastructure project. The project which had been in the works since the 1990s outlined three main areas, with the Highway 11 interchange included in area three opening most recently. Although this project seemed to be long and tedious at times, local commuters and drivers from afar will now be able to reap the benefits in all its glory.
Driving In The City
There was nothing more annoying and quite frankly nerve-wracking than driving on the ring road as well as various other high traffic roads and being surrounded by semi’s from all directions, merging from the right and driving slow in the left lane. Well worry no longer, the new bypass promises to solve all of your commuting frustrations. Because it will, for the most part, alleviate all that semi traffic within the city making your drive somewhat of a breeze. Driving through the city you’ll be sure to see a decrease in crowding and congestion on those heavy traffic areas where semis once drove. According to CTV News as many as 6200 vehicles daily have been making use of the bypass since its opening, 1200 of those being semis. Stop for a moment and think about all that extra room for city drivers! After your first seamless drive down Victoria Avenue, you’ll be sure to notice a difference.
Driving Outside of the City
This deferring of driving through the city poses to not only be beneficial to those that live within the city but more importantly to those travelling through. Semi drivers and travellers alike rejoice! Part of this new infrastructure includes roundabouts and various other interchanges that have been introduced and are now fully functioning. The purpose and intention of roundabouts is to encourage fewer traffic light stops and increase streamlined traffic flow. Saskatchewanians have been known to be notoriously bad at using said roundabouts. With that being said, I think with some hard and fast practice we’ll all eventually get the hang of it as long as we remember to yield!
But Is It Worth It?
The $1.9 billion project has raised many questions from civilians about if it is worth the taxpayer dollars or not. Many have speculated that the benefits do not outweigh the cost and that it may not be utilized by as many drivers as initially promised and projected. Because what good is a road if its not being driven on? Does the money spent fully rationalize a decrease in commute even if it is only by 5-10 minutes?
Ultimately, the pricey project has been predicted to reduce fatal collisions and save a number of lives in the long run. With the city growing at an exponential rate, the increased need for a transportation hub and more robust roads could very well be present.