The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure has released the traffic volume numbers for 2013, and they show that highways in the southeast remain very busy. .
The figures were posted recently on the Ministry of Highways website. The busiest stretch, not surprisingly, is Highway 39 between Estevan and Bienfait, with an average of 6,550 vehicles per day. More vehicles travel Highway 39 east of Estevan than Highway 1 west of Moose Jaw.
The provincial government announced plans to twin Highway 39 between Estevan and Bienfait last year, before they revealed plans to do the same with Highways 39 and 6 from Estevan to Regina. (Page 13 has more information on pre-twinning work for Highway 39 east of Estevan).
Other areas around Highway 39 remain busy as well. There were 4,460 vehicles per day northwest of Estevan, and 3,570 per day near Macoun.
All traffic checkpoints for Highways 39 and 6 between Estevan and Regina now have at least 3,100 vehicles per day. Highway 39 southeast of Weyburn boasts a daily count of 5,500 vehicles, northwest of Weyburn is at 4,550 vehicles, and Highway 6 south of Regina has 4,810 per day.
There are other traffic hot spots as well.
Highway 47 between Estevan and Stoughton ranges from 3,110 each day north of the city, to 1,990 a day south of Stoughton. The highway has experienced increasing traffic due to the booming oil sector. Also, motorists use it as an alternative to Highway 39 when travelling from Estevan to Regina.
The traffic volumes for Highways 13 and 18 are higher in the southeast than anywhere else in the province.
On Highway 13, the busiest area is at the junction with Highway 9 near Carlyle, at 3,300 vehicles per day. There are 2,610 near Arcola, 2,240 between Kisbey and Forget, and 2,480 east of Stoughton.
As for Highway 18, it tops out in Saskatchewan at 2,530 vehicles per day west of Oxbow, 1,930 vehicles per day east of Carnduff, and 1,800 each day east of Bienfait.
Among the other notable numbers were:
*There were 1,130 vehicles per day on Highway 39 near the North Portal border crossing, the highest traffic count near a Canada-U.S. border.
*Highway 9 north of Carlyle had 2,830 vehicles per day, the most for any point of Highway 9 in Saskatchewan, except for the area between Yorkton and Canora.
*While the government didn't reveal the heavy truck numbers for Highway 39, it did release them for a couple of tabulation spots. Highway 18 east of Oxbow had 1,855 vehicles per day; 495 of them were heavy trucks. And Highway 13 east of Carlyle had 2,355 vehicles per day; 420 were heavy trucks.
The ministry also tracked traffic numbers for highways at the outskirts of Estevan, and some remain very high. The Ministry recorded 9,080 vehicles each day on Highway 39 at the eastern edge of the city; 4,550 on Highway 39 at the western edge; 3,810 on Highway 47 at the northern outskirts; 1,170 for Highway 47 south of Estevan; 2,140 for Highway 18 west of Estevan; and 1,170 on Highway 18 west of the Boundary Dam Power Station access road.