Horrid highways in rural areas not built to last: Province

Extreme surface breaks on highways 220 and 322 are calling attention to the deterioration of rural roads across Saskatchewan.

Increased construction causing more truck traffic on Saskatchewan's rural roads

Horrible highways in Saskatchewan 1:43

The dismal state of highways in Saskatchewan's Rural Municipality of McKillop is calling attention to the deterioration of rural roads across the province.

CBC brought you the story on Monday of a photo posted to the government's Facebook page, which shows extreme surface breaks on Highway 220 and has received hundreds of shares. Nearby Highway 322 is also in rough shape.

Geoff Merifield, who lives permanently in the cottage-country area near the village of Craven, Sask., says the problem is nothing new.

"I've been out here 12 years and the roads are really bad," Merifield said.

They just weren't built to last or to sustain heavier traffic.- Joel Cherry, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure spokesperson

The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure says that many rural roads face the same difficulties. In fact, most of them were never meant to handle all the truck traffic resulting from increased home construction.

"They were built decades ago just to give a dust-free surface for rural roads," ministry spokesperson Joel Cherry said. "They just weren't built to last or to sustain heavier traffic." 

As for highways 220 and 322, Cherry said drier conditions are needed to repair and re-open the roads due to poor drainage. 

"I can't really give you a timeline right now because it's so heavily dependent on weather," he said.

For now, the province is allowing local residents to drive at their own risk on the damaged highways.


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