Drivers in Regina may have noticed recent construction around the city, and while that isn’t a new concept, road work happening simultaneously on several major north-south thoroughfares just might be.
While the brunt of the work is now complete on Albert Street around the Legislature, crews had been working there, along with Lewvan at 13th Avenue, Broad Street near College Avenue and Ring Road at Victoria Avenue.
Finding an alternate route for drivers headed north or south within city limits may have proved difficult.
“It’s kind of a pain in the butt,” said Gwen, a Regina resident who spoke as she sat in her parked car.
“Like at five o’clock for instance. I’ve noticed the traffic just jammed right up on the Ring Road,” she said.
Drivers like Dave Altwasser wish there was better signage erected, calling it very frustrating to approach an intersection only to discover at the last minute it’s barricaded off. In that case, he gets creative.
“I just go around the block. It’s not that long,” he said.
Sometimes this kind of traffic headache is unavoidable for the city.
“With our short construction season sometimes it happens that these occur,” said Norman Kyle, the city’s director of roadways and transportation.
Asked why some projects on major streets can’t simply be staggered instead of done all at once, Kyle responded some of them couldn’t be. Using the Ring Road and Victoria work as an example, he explained sometimes the scope and length of the project prevents the staggered approach.
Complimenting that challenge are contractor jobs.
“In order for us to get competitive prices from contractors we typically don’t dictate the schedule to them, we give them a completion date and then they set the schedule,” said Kyle.
He added on occasion a contract will have what’s called a road rental included. Kyle said a contractor will use a road and in turn pay a rental fee each day to the city for the impact to the public. That way, there’s incentive for a company to get work done early. If it’s done later than the allotted time, the company will pay even more.
However, waiting for construction to be finished is something drivers in Regina are used to by now, and therefore, they understand short-term pain for long-term gain, even if it is begrudgingly so.
“It’s not too long so it’s not too bad,” said Gwen.
“It’s just part of summer in Regina,” Altwasser said. “I enjoy that we’re going to have nice, new roads to drive on over the winter before they all turn to potholes next spring.”