Residents in the southeast, especially those living near Bienfait are no strangers to the railway crossing and the condition it is in. 

"People who travel it daily have complained to us several times at the town office," explained Paul Carroll, mayor of Bienfait. "To us, there's nothing we can do because it belongs to the railway and outside of the railway's portion of it, it belongs to the Department of Highways. We did approach the Department of Highways but they referred us back to the railways very quickly."

"We sure hope that the railways will see their way clear to put it in their budgets for this next year to get it upgraded to a standard that will actually keep vehicles at a reasonable speed. I'm not saying that they should be able to 100 km/hr but they should at least be able to do the speed limit."

Dennis Moore, the Chairman for the Southeast Transportation Planning Committee says that they are well aware of the problem and hopes that something will be done about it soon. 

"We have reported that to the Ministry and I have meetings in Carlyle and I will bring that up and stress that it's not getting any better, it's getting worse. We do have a good relationship with the Ministry, it's just a matter of when they fit it in into their time schedule. But I'll see if we can't fast forward it because it's been sitting that way for quite awhile."

"They only have so many crews that service the total area so at least I can find out when we're scheduled and when we might expect to get some new base put on there."

He added that it is not uncommon for the Ministry to have these projects on their list, but with the limited crews, the projects take awhile to be completed. 

"We only have two crews that look after this whole part of the province so when people see a sign down, it needs to be reported and then they schedule it to get repaired and put back up when they are in the area. And that's pretty much the way it works with everything. We need to know about it and we leave it wide open for people to call and then we get it across to the Ministry."

"Nothing moves really fast like we like to see and mostly it's because they don't have the manpower to do it like they would have years ago. But that doesn't mean that we're not on the case. We know about it and we are concerned and it's been that way far too long."

"We usually have representation from the Ministry at our meetings so we get a first hand chance to view the things that we have in our area that need to have some attention paid to it. Besides the crossing, there were quite a few signs that are down too."

He added that he too understands how the Ministry and railway can sometimes bump heads. 

"They're very quick to point out who is responsible for what and there is some overlap. Certainly there is some cooperation between the two of them but if it's one or the other's job, that's who's responsible and they sometimes will work together on it. But someone has to take the initiative to take it and get it done. And that's where we have to be constant on reminding them that this is a heavy traffic area and it's been that way for a long time, and we certainly deserve to get it looked after. It's not only rough, it's dangerous."

He adds that Highway 47 intersection with the mine road is also on the schedule to be lifted and smoothed. Until that can be done, they are looking at reducing the speed limit. 

 

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