Another step has been taken as the province looks to improve Highway 7 traffic that runs through Kindersley. Representatives from the Town of Kindersley, Associated Engineering and the Ministry of Highways were all in attendance during the information and opinion session held Tuesday evening at Elks Hall.
The project was outlined, problem areas were highlighted and multiple options for solutions lined each side of the hall as residents came to weigh in on the possible outcomes.
The session comes in the wake of a survey done earlier in the year to pinpoint what residents and those who frequently travel on Highway 7’s concerns were. Below is a summary of the survey results:
• Speeding on Highway 7 is a concern
• Improve pavement markings at intersections
• Add lighting west of Highway 21
• Ensure traffic signals cannot be hit by trucks
• Clarify who has the right-of-way at intersections
• Ensure trucks can get on and off the highway without causing congestion
• Improve safety for drivers entering Highway 7
• Maintain truck parking, without blocking sight lines
Some intersections that were raised as causing the most issues were Ditson Drive, Main Street, 2nd Street, as well as, the streets connecting the highway and service road on the west side of Highway 21.
Different scenarios were provided throughout three different options for improvements, some including the use of roundabouts, adding turning lanes, replacing streetlights and redesigning service roads allowing trucks to make wider turns. Another suggestion displayed in the graphics was to block off traffic from turning left onto the service road, north of the highway off Ditson Drive. From the chatter in the hall at the time, residents did not seem receptive to this idea as it would have drivers detouring around the Kindersley Mall and circle back to the service road
The options are open for feedback from everyone that uses the roadways including workers and residents alike. Steve Shaheen, senior communications consultant with the province, explained that they know there are many factors to consider and would like to have a wide cross-section of opinions before nailing down an official plan. He added that they are still in the information gathering stage with no set time-frame, depending on which solutions are chosen, will depend on the scope of construction and budget that will have to be organized before breaking ground.
The different options come with varying price tags as options one and two will cost upwards of $6 million and option three reaching much higher with a price tag of up to $21 million.
At the information session, those who attended were able to leave their comments on the forms provided that will be taken into consideration as they weigh different options. Alternatively, people can go online to Highway Construction Projects where the information boards will be posted later this week along with a section for comments.