The Twin to Twin Highways 39 and 6 committee isn't surprised with the volume of traffic on highways in the region.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways' traffic count numbers for 2012 were recently supplied by the committee to the local media. Time to Twin co-chair Lorelei Ireland said that since the committee was formed about four years ago, they always expected the traffic numbers would increase.
“Around here, you can just tell the number of vehicles on the highways in and around Estevan, it's drastically increased,” said Ireland.
The survey shows that there is nearly 9,500 vehicles per day on Highway 39 at the east edge of the city, and about 7,000 per day at the Shand Access Road. The government has already announced plans to twin 39 from Estevan to the junction with Highway 18.
There are about 4,100 vehicles a day on Highway 39 at the west edge of Estevan, about 5,500 a day on Highway 39 at the east edge of Weyburn, and 5,000 a day near the junction of Highways 39 and 13 west of Weyburn.
The Twin to Twin committee also notes that the other highways used by people to travel from Estevan to Regina – Highway 47 from Estevan to Stoughton, and Highway 33 from Stoughton to Regina – have also seen their numbers increase. Highway 47 has seen its numbers soar by anywhere from 300 to 500 vehicles a day.
“We know that people are taking different routes to get to Regina, so even for Highway 39, the traffic count on that is not accurate, because people are taking Highway 47,” said Ireland.
Premier Brad Wall announced last month that the government was taking a serious look at twinning Highways 6 and 39 from Regina to the junction with Highways 39 and 18, but Ireland said the committee will continue with their petitions and other lobbying efforts.
Until the actual twinning work begins, Ireland said the committee's efforts will continue.
Other areas in the southeast have also seen an increase in traffic. There are at least 2,000 vehicles per day on Highway 47 between Estevan and Stoughton, highlighted by 3,020 vehicles per day just north of Estevan.
There are 3,670 vehicles a day on Highway 13 west of Carlyle, compared to 3,000 a day last year. The lowest daily vehicle count between Stoughton and Carlyle is 2,640. Highway 18 between Bienfait and the Manitoba border is also well-travelled; 2,610 vehicles a day near Oxbow is the highest number.