The Town of Battleford has taken steps toward improving the safety of an area intersection, although when such changes would be completed is uncertain.
The Regional Optimist reported in June the intersection of Highway 4 and grid road 656 has been a subject of complaints, including drivers possibly getting rear-ended.
“Many drivers are worried that trucks are speeding to gain momentum to go up the next hill while family vehicles are slowing to make the turn,” according to Chief Administrative Officer John Enns-Wind’s administrative report presented at a summer council meeting.
Town leadership wrote to the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure earlier this year, and received a written response in the form of an email. The email, included in the Sept. 4 public package, stated the ministry has completed a safety assessment.
According to Julian Petras, engineer-in-training with the Government of Saskatchewan, the ministry performed a traffic count at the intersection and assessed safety improvements including a right turn lane, a left turn lane, an acceleration lane, a climbing lane for a nearby hill and more lighting and signage.
The email stated, “we found the requirements were met for a southbound right turn lane and some sight triangle clearing in the northwest corner of the intersection.”
The improvements have been entered into the province’s “safety improvement program,” in which changes to the intersection would be prioritized against other projects in the province.
Petras added if traffic increases at the intersection, the ministry could reassess the location to determine possible future changes.
Mayor Ames Leslie said, “it sounds like [the intersection changes] are not a high priority at the moment, but it has made the list of upgrades in the province.”
Timelines are unknown. Enns-Wind said, “changes could be next year, [or they] could be eight years from now.”