Road repairs cause highway congestion

Nathan Liewicki
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Seal coating expected to last three to five years

Highway 2 is an important north-south corridor in Saskatchewan, and a section of it near Moose Jaw is receiving upgrades.

Repairs to Highway 2 near Moose Jaw will cause delays and some congestion, but crack sealing is expected to have lasting results.

“What’s being done is seal coating,” said Joel Cherry, a spokesperson for the ministry of infrastructure and highways. “It provides a waterproof surface and prevents moisture from entering and then weakening the roadbeds.”

Seal coating prevents deterioration of roads, added Cherry, which is an important maintenance initiative in a place like Saskatchewan because of the freeze-thaw cycle that can affect roads.

Essentially, seal coating strengthens roads.

“In the seal coating process you add hot liquid asphalt to the top of the road and then immediately after that gravel chips are added over the asphalt and are packed (into) the asphalt using a roller,” explained Cherry.

In the case of this project – ranging from Tuxford to Moose Jaw – the work has caused traffic delays as construction crews have had to limit traffic to one lane.

“We’ve advised that people should expect delays of up to 20 minutes,” noted Cherry.

Madeleine Froehlich was stopped on the highway Thursday morning. A frequent traveler on Highway 2 in and out of Moose Jaw, Froehlich told the Times-Herald she has usually been at a standstill for 10-15 minutes.

“It’s just a bit of an inconvenience,” said Froehlich.

Vera Nelson also drives on Highway 2 every day. She said the stops have not been too lengthy.

“They started stopping us this week, so not for very long,” said Nelson.

Weather permitting, Cherry said he expects the seal coating to be complete by the end of the weekend. He advised motorists who want the latest highway information could always go to the Highway Hotline.

“A lot of people use the Highway Hotline in the winter because it contains the latest road conditions, but it’s also important to know that in the summer months,” said Cherry, “you can go to the Highway Hotline and there’s these pylons on the map and if you click them it will give you information on construction work that is going on in the area.”

Although, he said, the seal coating will not prevent the need for future maintenance on Highway 2 to occur, it is only expected to last three to five years.

On a highway that has experienced an increase in traffic, including heavy truck traffic, there are no specific plans to twin or add passing lanes to Highway 2 between Moose Jaw and Chamberlain.

Similarly, there are no plans to divert the heavy truck traffic that has contributed to the deterioration of the highway, said Cherry.

“In order to divert traffic on to another primary road you’d probably have to go all the way to Regina and then up on Highway 11, so it wouldn’t be efficient at all,” said Cherry. “Highway 2 is a primary road and it’s capable of carrying heavy truck traffic.”

However, one Moose Jaw woman likely wishes the heavy truck traffic would be diverted, as one was to blame for her misfortune on May 30.

While driving home through the area, the woman had a piece of rock smash through her windshield, littering shards of glass over her person.

On Wednesday, she told the Times-Herald it forced her to replace her windshield a third time, all of which were the result of driving on Highway 2.

Follow Nathan Liewicki on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Regina

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Recent comments

  • Tom T
    June 06, 2014 - 10:01

    Are there not any grid roads south of Marquis?