Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's first highway roundabouts officially open

The first highway roundabouts in Saskatchewan opened this week. Along with the roundabouts came the opening of the Balgonie overpass, which leads to the roundabouts. The new highways additions are supposed to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion.

The opening was scheduled for Monday, but was delayed until Tuesday night

According to Regina Bypass, the roundabouts are large enough for semi-trailers, b-trains and large farm equipment. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

It's been two years in the making, but Saskatchewan's first highway roundabouts are officially open to the public.  

Along with the roundabouts, the Balgonie overpass has been opened as well.

The overpass is on Highway 46 near Balgonie and leads to the roundabouts.

The project is still new, but the response seems to be good from people who frequent the highway.

RJ Freoschle and his girlfriend, Joanne Obermeyer, frequently ride on Highway 46. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

"This is probably the most impressive thing that the highway divisions out here can actually do for the public. It's a lot of money, it's a lot of time, but it's going to save a lot of lives," said RJ Freoschl, who travels near Highway 46 almost everyday on his work commute.

Highway 46 has been the site of numerous collisions and fatalities.

Trick to roundabouts: Read the signs

Roundabouts have proven to be tricky for Saskatchewan in the past, but Freoschl says the trick is to look for the signs.

"It's all about reading signs. You got to know where your exits are, you've got to read the signs. Once you get that figured out you go with the flow," said Freoschl.

The project is designed to accommodate large vehicles as well, such as farm equipment and semis. 

Harvey Parks, a semi-driver based in Winnipeg, said the new additions to Saskatchewan highways will be appreciated by semi drivers.

"It's always been a problem going through or around Regina, so I'm looking forward to it being completed. It'll ease up some of the traffic through town anyway and it'll certainly make it easier for us," Parks said.

Harvey Parks, who drives semis across Western Canada, says the road improvements will be appreciated by truckers. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

"The local people I'm sure are going to appreciate it as well because they're not going to have us rumbling through here at two in the morning," he added.

The roundabouts and overpass are part of the Regina Bypass project. 

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