Pilot Butte Overpass Opening Ahead of Schedule
The Pilot Butte overpass is now open to traffic, 20 months ahead of schedule. This new overpass addresses long-standing safety concerns at the Pilot Butte access.
“I am thrilled to see another major milestone on the Regina Bypass project completed so far ahead of schedule,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Easing traffic congestion and improving safety along Canada’s major trade routes is a priority for our government and I look forward to seeing the new economic opportunities this major work will bring to the region.”
The Pilot Butte overpass is a diverging diamond design, the first to be built in Saskatchewan and only the second in Canada. The interchange uses traffic signals to shift vehicles to the opposite side of the road over the interchange before crossing back at the next traffic signal, helping to maintain traffic flow and allowing for easier left turns. The configuration is becoming increasingly popular in North America due to its safety and operational benefits.
“Improving safety through the corridor east of Regina is a priority of our government and we are pleased to be able to provide the residents of Pilot Butte with a safer access to their community earlier than expected,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said. “Opening the Pilot Butte overpass more than a year and a half ahead of schedule, while remaining on budget, shows the benefits and flexibility of using the P3 model.”
A series of public information sessions were held recently to create awareness and help educate people on how to navigate through the new diverging diamond interchange.
“The community of Pilot Butte is thrilled with the opening of the Diverging Diamond overpass,” Pilot Butte Mayor Peggy Chorney said. “We have been eagerly waiting for a design that addresses firstly and most importantly traffic safety, and secondly to increase access and flow of traffic. We recognize that the design is new to many drivers, but anticipate fewer collisions since turning vehicles no longer have to cross traffic.”
“The Pilot Butte overpass was built to increase safety,” RM of Edenwold Reeve Mitchell Huber said. “The overpasses at Balgonie, Highway 48 and Pilot Butte are all within the RM’s boundaries. Our hope is this infrastructure continues to create growth and increased connectivity for our entire community.”
“The completion of the Pilot Butte overpass comes with mixed emotions,” Wanda Campbell said. “The probability of a fatal or severe accident will be significantly reduced, providing safe access for our communities. The words ‘be safe crossing the highway' will no longer have to be said by parents to their children. That is a comfort to me, knowing (my son) Lane’s legacy will save lives.”
Lane Campbell Antosh lost his life in a fatal collision on August 9, 2013.
The Bypass is the largest transportation infrastructure project in Saskatchewan’s history. The Government of Canada, through PPP Canada, is investing up to $200 million in the project.
For the latest traffic restrictions related to the Regina Bypass project, please follow Regina Bypass Partners on Twitter @reginabypass and regularly check the Highway Hotline at www.saskatchewan.ca/highwayhotline.