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Highway 5 makes list of CAA’s 2022 top ten worst roads

Buchanan mayor says Highway 5 hasn't been resurfaced since 1986
Worst Roads Buchanan_result
The results of the CAA Worst Roads campaign are in and out of all the roads in Saskatchewan, The stretch of Highway 5 from Canora through Buchanan to Rama finished fifth. Buchanan Mayor Sean Wilson expressed gratitude for the interest from voters, “I appreciate that people got involved and got it that high on the list.”

Saskatchewan road users have nominated and voted for their worst, unsafe roads they have recently travelled on.

1.         Mayfair Crescent, Regina, SK

2.         Saskatchewan 47, Springside, SK (#2 in 2018 CAA Top Ten Worst Roads)

3.         Highway 9, Hudson Bay, SK (#3 in 2021 and #5 in 2018 CAA Top Ten Worst Roads)

4.         Saskatchewan 155, La Loche, SK (#1 in 2017 CAA Top Ten Worst Roads)

5.         Saskatchewan 5, Buchanan, SK

6.         Circle Drive, Saskatoon, SK

7.         4th Avenue Viaduct S.W., Moose Jaw, SK

8.         Grant Drive, Regina, SK (#6 in 2021 and #8 in 2019 CAA Top Ten Worst Roads)

9.         Ingersoll Crescent, Regina, SK

10.       9th Avenue S.W., Moose Jaw, SK (#10 in 2018 CAA Top Ten Worst Roads)

After finding out that Buchanan’s Highway 5 made it up to the fifth position on this year’s list, Buchanan Mayor Sean Wilson said it was a long time coming.

“Highway 5 from Canora to Rama was last resurfaced in 1986,” shared Wilson. “It’s amazing that it’s lasted that long with minor maintenance. I appreciate that people got involved and got it that high on the list, and I agree that it’s due to be done.”

Wilson, who has been involved in road construction for most of his life, said the CAA Worst Roads Campaign has a history of producing results.

“Highway 9 got fixed south of Canora to Yorkton after it made the list,” he recalled. “About ten years ago the top 10 was all provincial highways, now six of the top 10 are city highways. Government has a formula for various things for funding purposes, and sometimes, highways get lost until people draw attention to it. This tool of awareness is something the provincial government takes seriously coming out of this contest.”

The benefits of resurfacing the highway would likely be significant for Buchanan and the surrounding area.

“Driver safety would be improved and there would be better moving of goods,” shared Wilson. “Our stretch of Highway 5 is at end of life, definitely needs to be redone. The Province never should have left it for 36 years. They should have caught it at least 10 years ago, when the cost to bring it up to standard would have been a lot less.”

Steve Shaheen, Ministry of Highways Senior Communications Consultant, said the message of the campaign is appreciated by the ministry.

“Safety and improving provincial highways is a priority,” stated Shaheen. “When determining where and when to invest, a number of factors are taken into account including traffic volumes, trucks, impact on the economy, safety and projected growth. This is done in consultation with stakeholders like SUMA, SARM and individual municipalities.”

Shaheen said the ministry is well aware of the state of Highway 5 from Canora through Buchanan to Rama.

“There is a stretch of older pavement from Rama to Canora of about 40 km where there is some rutting and transverse cracks. Similar to every spring, we see some pot holes appearing on Saskatchewan highways. In the case of Highway 5, it will undergo routine maintenance.”

Shaheen didn’t provide any information regarding when resurfacing might occur.

“Saskatchewan has an extensive highway network to maintain. Our government has made historic investments in our highways and roads. Since 2008, we’ve invested more than $11 billion to improve more than 18,400 km of Saskatchewan Highways,” Shaheen concluded. 

CAA’s 2022 Worst Roads campaign took place from April 6 to 30. Saskatchewan road users including motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, runners, transit users, and motorcyclists were invited to nominate and vote for worst, unsafe highways, municipal or residential roads, stated a release.

Repair bills resulting from unsafe roads can be costly for owners of vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. According to CAA’s Cost of Poor Roads in Canada Study, the average Canadian driver pays an extra $126 per year, which over a 10-year period of a car’s lifespan, adds up to around $1,260. In Saskatchewan, the average annual cost per driver is $97 and totals just under $1,000 in a 10-year period. Repairing roads before they can deteriorate saves money for all road users and governments.

Saskatchewan is a landlocked province and has almost 230,000 km of roads, the highest length of road surface compared to any other province. These roads are used on a regular basis for business and leisure road travel and when these roads are allowed to deteriorate, road users pay the price.

CAA Worst Roads is an online engagement campaign aimed at drawing attention to the province’s worst, unsafe roads. The 2022 top ten roads worst roads list will be distributed to government and business leaders in hopes of sparking conversation and action. Working towards safer roads for all road users is a priority for CAA Saskatchewan, concluded the release.