Warman RCMP attended an accident on Highway 7 near Delisle at around noon on Wednesday, August 9. An Ashley Furniture truck had run over a piece of debris on the highway which caused the driver to lose control and sent the vehicle into the ditch. The truck came to rest upright and perpendicular to the highway, not quite reaching a new twinned lane being constructed.
The Warman RCMP detachment responds to calls from Delisle and Radisson as well as Warman and Martensville. A second Ashley Furniture truck was parked on an approach on the opposite side of the highway, but this was reported to be a single vehicle incident with no injuries. Responders waited for a tow truck to arrive.
A newly-twinned nine-kilometer stretch of Highway 7 between Saskatoon and Vanscoy was opened for traffic on Thursday, October 13.
This marks the completion of the first of three phases of a major project to twin about 25 kilometers of Highway 7 between Saskatoon and Delisle.
The total cost of Phase One is just over $18 million. The overall project is being cost-shared by the provincial and federal governments, with Ottawa committed to funding half the eligible costs up to a maximum of $32 million.
Paul Merriman, Government House Leader and MLA for Saskatoon Silverspring-Sutherland said the vehicle count over the last decade has increased from 5,000 vehicles per day to about 9,100 per day.
“The traffic has almost doubled in the last ten years,” said Merriman at a press conference beside the newly-opened highway on October 13. “That’s a big increase. This twinning project and the new passing lanes completed on Highway 7 between Delisle and Rosetown last year will help enhance safety and improve the flow of traffic.”
Merriman said Phase One of the project was completed right on schedule.
“We had planned to have it opened at Thanksgiving, but the snow delayed things a little,” he said. “Basically it’s pretty well right on schedule.”
Merriman said the tenders are still out for Phase Two and Phase Three of the project, so the total cost of those phases is not yet known. These phases include the twinning between Vanscoy and Delisle and the bypass around Vanscoy. The overall project should be completed within two years at the latest, he said, adding that construction is dependent on weather conditions.
“If we get an early spring we could get at it sooner and get more of the project done next year,” said Merriman. “But we want to make sure it’s spaced out over the right amount of time so everyrone involved has a say in how the process goes.”
Pre-construction work continues on the next two phases of the project, including design, environmental assessment and land aquisition.
Construction on the eastbound lanes continues in order to improve some of the intersections.
Merriman said Highway 7 is important not only for local traffic, but also as a key trade route for the province which connects Saskatoon, Rosetown, Kindersley and Calgary, as well as ports on the west coast.
Paving is underway on the newly twinned section of Highway 7 between Saskatoon and Vanscoy.
The first phase of the 25 kilometre project is scheduled to open in time for people travelling to visit family this Thanksgiving weekend.
“People commuting to work at potash mines in addition to growing interprovincial truck traffic will benefit from this project,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said.“The new lanes will improve safety, increase capacity and enhance traffic flow.”
Pre-work for Highway 7 twinning from Vanscoy to Delisle is continuing.
New highway construction scheduled to begin this week includes surfacing work on Highway 25 near Hagen and culvert installations on Highway 35. Meanwhile, construction has been completed on Highway 1 near Belle Plaine and Highway 35 near Elfros.