Saskatchewan Progressive Conservatives question Regina Bypass spending

Sask. Progressive Conservatives question Regina bypass spending
WATCH: Saskatchewan Progressive Conservatives question spending $2 billion on the Regina Bypass.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan is questioning why the province spent nearly $2 billion on the Regina Bypass.

The party’s deputy leader agrees the project was needed, but is frustrated with the province’s priorities and noted a second bridge in Prince Albert has been needed for a while.

READ MORE: Plan needed to deal with lone Prince Albert bridge: study

“We seem to get no economic infrastructure investment here. We get a little bit of pavement every once in a while and that’s about it and it’s a grave concern,” Shaun Harris said.

According to a 2013 study, more than 22,000 vehicles use the Diefenbaker Bridge on a daily basis.

READ MORE: Regina Bypass being well used one month in: Saskatchewan government

Since opening five weeks ago, the province said about 5,500 vehicles are using the bypass every day, with more than 1,200 of those being trucks.

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“It’s an investment that we reference is to the quality of life and the growth of the community of Regina, but also the growth of the goods that are travelling up and down our number one highway. There has been fewer accidents since the introduction of the bypass,” Premier Scott Moe told reporters on Dec. 4.

He added the number of vehicles using the bypass is expected to increase in the coming months.

A statement from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure said as well as reducing traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway, the bypass will provide more efficient routes for moving goods.

‘A lot of fear-mongering’ around Prince Albert toll bridge talks: councillor
‘A lot of fear-mongering’ around Prince Albert toll bridge talks: councillor

However, Harris said it isn’t easier for those travelling in north Saskatchewan with infrastructure projects centred on the province’s two largest cities.

“It seems like those two places, in particular, get the lion’s share of the money, when a place like Prince Albert has been in dire need of a bridge for decades. It’s frustrating. We’re forgotten here and we’re getting kind of sick of it,” he said.

The province has a funding arrangement in place for a second crossing in Prince Albert, but it would require the city to chip in for the project, which would likely be more than $100 million.