It was a case of delayed gratification for Delisle. But the town is finally getting a double lane highway to its doors.
Delisle residents checked out the lay of the land at an open house held by the Ministry of Highways (MHI) on Wednesday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Phase 3 will begin shortly, says Steve Shaheen with the ministry. Phase 1 encompassed the stretch from Saskatoon to Vanscoy, Phase 2 goes around Vanscoy and Phase 3 is from Vanscoy to Delisle. Functional planning for Phase 2 is still being finalized, Shaheen added.
“Grading is beginning this year. They’ll be doing some culvert installations within the next of couple weeks and they’ll get to work with the grading which they anticipate will be done by October,” Shaheen said. Surfacing work will commence in 2018. Some equipment is already on site. Grading is projected to cost around $9.5 million.
This leg of the project was slated to begin last year. But it was a non-starter with the ministry. Now, the stars have aligned to move things forward. “They’re going to start moving dirt within a couple weeks, so that’s exciting!” said Delisle mayor, Dave Anderchek. “After last year and not starting, it was pretty disappointing. As a mayor it was really disappointing.”
This is the first open house the Ministry has done in the community. “Everybody gets a chance to see what’s actually happening with the twinning of the highway and the new service road and the new entrance to Delisle,” Anderchek said.
The new entrance to Delisle is about 1.5 km east of town. “We’ve been working at this with highways for a few years now – to change the entrance to Delisle – and its all based on safety,” he said. The town owns all of that land. The hope down the road is to attract businesses to that strip of service road. The road needs to be widened and drainage needs to be addressed.
For the section of Highway 7 that runs from Delisle to Rosetown, the Ministry has a combination of twinning and passing lanes.
The Ministry encourages motorists to watch for workers and obey the speed limits that are posted as well as the signage.