Watch above: Truckers frustrated with Saskatoon traffic
SASKATOON – The head of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association says the congestion around Circle Drive and Idylwyld Drive in Saskatoon’s north end is causing significant frustration for the trucking industry.
“They’re very frustrated,” said Terry Siemens, president of the association. “Most truckers are paid by the mile, so if they’re sitting in lineups, they’re not making any money, and the company isn’t making any money.”
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It’s not uncommon to see long lineups of traffic trying to turn north onto Highway 16 from Circle Drive – or long lineups waiting to turn onto Circle Drive from Highway 16.
“I’ve seen lineups there that go back almost as far as 51st street, so they could be sitting in line for 45 minutes, an hour,” Siemens told Global Saskatoon’s Morning News.
Siemens said when the South Circle Drive Bridge was opened a year ago, it helped significantly in one part of the route through Saskatoon. But, he said, it also seems to have resulted in more traffic jams in the north end.
“You’ve got one way through the city, across two bridges, and they all convene at that one bottleneck,” he said. “There’s no way around it.”
Siemens says it has likely become the biggest bottleneck for the trucking industry in the province, adding part of the problem is that a lot of truck traffic going to northern Alberta goes through Saskatoon.
“There’s a lot of trucks coming and going, and we’re probably the worst in the province right now,” he said.
The province, the city, and the R.M. of Corman Park are looking at options for a bypass around the city – but any solution is likely years away.
In the meantime, said Siemens, he’s not aware of any other options for truckers.
“A bypass would be huge,” he said.