YORKTON, Sask. — Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard today announced plans to build an access road and Highway 16 truck route, to make way for continued economic development in and around the Yorkton area.
“Work on an access road to the new canola processing plant on the west side of Yorkton, along with a plan to reposition a portion of Highway 16 near the access point, will begin in the next few weeks,” Elhard said. “Strategic transportation planning is a critical element of Saskatchewan’s strong and steady economic growth and we need to ensure our future road capacity provides the safest and most efficient routes possible. The Yorkton West Truck Route will provide much needed trucking capacity to ensure Yorkton’s economy continues to thrive and grow.”
This investment in the local truck route will aid and strengthen the local economy, added Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit said. “Short term, the West Truck Route will serve the development of canola plants, but long term this will benefit the development of an industrial corridor. Additionally, the route will divert heavy truck traffic away from the city, which will increase safety. We realize we are not immune to the effects of the global recession and will continue to take action.”
According to the Ministry, Stage I of the roadwork involves moving a portion of Highway 16 approximately 400 metres south of the current route. This work will is expected to begin immediately, in order to accommodate truck movement in-and-out of the canola crushing plant, which is slated for opening in 2010. The estimated cost of these improvements is $9.3 million.
Stage 2 will include choosing one of two proposed routes connecting Highways 16 and 10. The Ministry indicates that it will meet with area landowners in the next month to discuss the two proposed routes. The Ministry also stated that it will be working closely with the RM of Orkney and the City of Yorkton to choose the route based on several criteria, including: safety, cost, and environmental and landowner impacts.
Once the route has been selected, construction on the north portion between Highways 16 and 52 is expected to begin. It is anticipated by the Ministry, that this work will begin in late fall 2009 or spring 2010, states the Ministry.
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