The provincial opposition has its doubts on the Regina Bypass Project route and is asking the SaskParty to put a pause on the largest transportation infrastructure project in Saskatchewan’s history.
The NDP calls the $1.88 billion bypass a “boondoggle” in the making.
“We need a bypass built around our capital city, but we need it built right, in the right location and for the best price,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon.
He said the original cost estimate of the route was $400 million. However, as the scope of the project expanded and bypasses were added, the price tag increased to almost $2 billion. Wotherspoon thinks the cost will surpass the $2 billion mark because the province still needs to acquire land from those living along the route.
The NDP want the province to put a hold on the massive project while alternate routes are looked at. The party wants a comparison done on the public-private partnership (P3) funding model the route is currently being constructed under, versus a straightforward build. As well, they want all studies associated with the project released.
While that’s happening, Wotherspoon is asking that the government immediately install traffic lights on Highway 1 east. He also wants overpasses built in that area tendered and constructed the right away.
The province stands behind the route’s location and the cost, reiterating that by using a P3 model taxpayers are saving $380 million. The SaskParty say at least 8,200 jobs will be created in the process.