Watch the video above: Governments partner to improve safety on Highway 16
SASKATOON – A partnership between the provincial and federal governments announced Friday will see Highway 16 twinned, a CN Railway crossing constructed and a bypass built around the village of Clavet.
The bypass will be 1.6 kilometres north of the village, routing traffic around, rather than through it. It will provide direct access to the Cargill canola processing plant where 100 motorists commute to each day for work.
The bypass is expected to increase safety but the effect on business, such as the Clavet Store, is questionable, according to Clavet’s Deputy Mayor Ian McMahon.
“It’s right on the highway so the store does a lot of business in fuel and the hotel,” said McMahon.
Similar concerns surfaced when Highway 11 to Prince Albert was twinned. It bypasses Hague, Rosthern, Duck Lake and MacDowall.
According to the province, Highway 16 was chosen for construction because traffic flow was lagging and it was also identified as an area that is a safety concern.
Statistics show other areas are more dire. According to SGI, between 2010 and 2013, there have been 78 collisions on Highway 16 between Saskatoon and Clavet. Two crashes were fatal.
On Highway 12 from Saskatoon to Martensville, during the same time frame, there were 115 collisions with one fatality. On Highway 7 toward Rosetown there have been 436 collisions and three deaths.
The province says it’s planning to twin a greater portion of Highway 7 and preliminary design work has begun for an interchange and overpass at Martensville but full funding has not been identified for either project yet.
This is the first project in Saskatchewan to receive funding through the Building Canada Fund. The federal government will cover half of the total cost of the project, to a maximum of $22 million. The remainder will fall to the provincial government which put aside $7 million in the 2014/15 budget.
The multimillion dollar construction project is expected to begin this summer and will take two full construction seasons to complete.