CAA Saskatchewan has launched a contest to find the worst highway in Saskatchewan.
I could have made their job simple. A quick tour of southeast Saskatchewan would give them plenty of ammunition. In fact, it would have likely been rebranded as a contest to find the worst highway in southeast Saskatchewan.
Start with Highway 47 – the bane of so many motorists in this region. The provincial government deserves credit for their pro-active effort to resurface Highway 47 from Stoughton to the junction with Highway 361 a few years ago.
Other segments of Highway 47 are in atrocious shape. When the Saskatchewan Party was in opposition, Estevan MLA Doreen Eagles decried Highway 47 from Estevan to the U.S. border as a disgrace. She was right. Yet the highways remains a disgrace four-and-a-half years after the Sask. Party was elected.
Highway 47 is even worse from Stoughton to Highway 1. It's mostly a gravel road that's used largely by oilfield traffic.
Remember, Highway 47 was named Canada's Highway from Hell in 2003 by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). Nobody argued with that dubious distinction.
But there are other highways in the southeast deserving of such labels as "goat trail," "disaster area" and "unsafe for travel." There's Highway 35 from Weyburn to the U.S. border, which was christened as "The Road to Baghdad" in 2003. Contrary to what former Liberal leader David Karwacki says, Highway 35 should be good for more than just beer runs to the border.
Highways 318 and 361 in the Alida area should be deemed as unfit for cars, mini-vans and small SUVs. The speed limit is 90 kilometres per hour, but motorists exercise common sense should be travelling at 60 or 70 kilometres per hour. The only reason to be happy with the state of Highway 318 from Carnduff to Alida is if you own a business that offers wheel alignments.
Even a national highway like Highway 39 from Estevan to Macoun has been in disrepair for a number of years. We want to see the highways from Regina to North Portal twinned. But at the very least, resurface the important 25-kilometre stretch northwest of Estevan, which is often riddled with potholes in the late spring and summer months.
Now, the provincial government has made some progress on highway conditions in this region. Highway 18 from Bienfait to Frobisher was resurfaced last year. And the government has spent money to upgrade other highways.
But there are many other highways that have a lot of vehicles, especially heavy trucks, but are still in terrible shape.
So please go to the CAA website, nominate and vote for highways 47, 18, 39, 35, 350 and any others that are in deteriorating shape, and show the government how they've ignored some highways in the southeast.