Just one week after it opened, there are issues being raised about the new overpass at Balgonie.
Part of the Regina Bypass project, the overpass connects Highway 46 to the TransCanada, and includes one of the first major roundabouts in the province.
But an area farmer is raising concerns about the width of the access lanes.
Ryan Leibel used the overpass the weekend it opened. While the bridge itself and roundabout caused no problem, the concrete curbs on the ramp were too narrow.
Traveling in his tractor that was pulling a cultivator, Leibel arrived back to his yard to discover his tires were all scuffed.
It’s then that he took a look at the width of the rest of his equipment.
“There’s is no way that my combine will get across without driving up on top of the curves, and as well the air feeder is way too wide to get across there,” Leibel said. “If they wanted to make it farm friendly, you’d think they would have went and measured some farm equipment before they went ahead and built it.”
The Leibel farm is north of Balgonie, but it extends south of Highway 1.
Looking forward to the safety of the overpass, Leibel may now have to take a much longer and unsafe route to get to his land.
“Now, I have to cross two highways with no bridges with my equipment, as opposed to being able to just scoot across the safe overpass and avoid having to block off or cross traffic at busy times,” he explained.
The ministry of highways is aware of what happened to Leibel, describing it as “growing pain” but maintains the interchange is wide enough for farm equipment.
However, it’s likely some modifications will be made to the curbs on the access ramp.
“We will look at the opportunity to do some minor adjustments or reinforcements to the interchange,” David Stearns, with the ministry of highways said. “Maybe we could use a rounded type of curbing, rather than a square or vertical face curbing that scuffs tires.”
The Regina Bypass is a project that connects Highway 1 east of Regina in a loop around the south end of the city and then north connecting to Highway 11. The provincial government committed $1.88 billion to the project, with $1.2 billion of that designated for construction.