The votes are in, and the top 10 worst roads in Saskatchewan have been named by CAA Saskatchewan. The voting on the annual campaign closed Sunday night at midnight.
Southeast Saskatchewan had two highways make the top ten, and both are in the same area near Torquay. Highway 350, from Torquay to the U.S. border, and Highway 18 through the community are on the list.
Darwin Daae is the reeve of the R.M. of Cambria. Both highways are in the rural municipality. He explained the concern is a result of heavy trucks, primarily from the oil industry.
“The roads just aren’t built with that,” he said. “The ratepayers are getting fed up with it, I guess, and so they voted it in to have those two there.”
Daae said the issues with Highway 350 aren’t a surprise to him. The road has been on the radar of many travellers for a number of years, in particular, due to the fact it leads to the U.S. border. In recent years, a local committee has been formed to get something done about the condition of the roadway.
“They’ve sort of taken that on a little bit, and they approached the highway department. They had a meeting with the Minister of Highways last year, last June; I was invited to it as well,” explained Daae.
The roads, which are in the middle of the oil patch in southeast Saskatchewan, are considered to be crucial for the provincial economy, but with land sales continuing to happen in the area, and drilling continuing as well, Daae said the province is finding economic viability from the region. The problem is, not everyone is experiencing the same.
“For them, it’s not really being affected; for us, the economics are very much being affected.”
There are no plans on work being done in the coming months for the highways from the provincial government, although for many in the Torquay area, they are hoping the plans change based on the final vote.