Nipawin Bridge Update – Monday July 1st 2019

(Last Updated On: July 8, 2019)

UPDATED: Monday July 8th, 2019 – The concrete pour has been postponed until Tuesday July 9th, 2019

The concrete pour scheduled for this evening on the Nipawin bridge has been postponed until tomorrow evening, Tuesday, July 9th 2019, weather permitting.

The pouring of the concrete deck on the bridge continues Tuesday evening beginning after 5 pm and could go to midnight or later. Lighting on the bridge will be present, however extra caution should be used by all motorists.

** The traffic lights are not, and have never been, “broken” **

Please obey the lights, and flagger’s directions when they are present, to help ensure the safety of yourself, other travelers and the crews working on the bridge. Traffic delays of up to 20 minutes may occur.

The next concrete pour is scheduled for the evening of Wednesday July 10th, weather permitting.

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UPDATED: Monday July 3rd, 2019– After the long weekend ends, crews working on the Nipawin bridge on Highway 55 near Nipawin, SK, will be pouring the concrete deck which will result in occasional delays for travelers.

The concrete pour is planned for Friday, July 5th, Monday July 8th and Wednesday July 10th, and will result in occasional delays of up to 20 minutes. Crews will also be on an extended schedule for the pour and work will continue past the usual 5 pm shut down time and could go as late as 12 midnight.

Note: The dates of the pour have been changed and there will be no delays on Wednesday, July 3rd and Thursday, July 4th

About the feature image: While this semi was slow moving and did not run the red light, several cars behind him did. The result was that the slow moving semi was off the bridge with enough time left for at least some the opposing traffic to go, however the cars that followed him despite the red light caused the waiting traffic to miss their green light. Their light turned red again before the east bound cars where all off the bridge.

Traffic Control

During the extended delays, flag persons will be present to direct traffic. Travelers are reminded that even in the presence of a traffic light, a flag person supersedes all other traffic control measures. This means even if a traffic light is green, a flag person present telling you to stop overrules the light. To avoid confusion, traffic control personnel normally ensure the traffic light is turned off or set to not cycle when a flagger is present, however on some occasions, traffic must be stopped without warning and before the light can be halted. In a case like that, you may encounter a safety officer or flag person requiring you to stop while the traffic light is still cycling.

Drivers running the red light one of the top causes for construction delays

Since this project began in 2018, drivers ignoring the traffic signs, lights and speed limits has been a daily problem. While speeding in the work zone is dangerous for both the workers and the public using the bridge, running the red light can cause a higher level of danger as well as it creates delays for those crews and opposing traffic.

The full cycle of the traffic light is 5 minutes and 24 seconds. So if you arrive at the light as it turns amber, that is how long you will need to wait until it’s green again. Assuming traffic is flowing at 20-30 km/h across the bridge, this allows for 8 to 12 vehicles to cross in each direction. The timing includes a bit of a buffer to account for the occasional traffic that goes slower, such as some traveling 10 km/h across the bridge. That buffer is also time that the crew uses to move vehicles and equipment from one part of the work site to another, using the active lane.

When drivers run the red light to “catch up to traffic“, it may seem harmless, but it can result in delays for the crew which, over time, can result in it taking longer to complete the project.

Catching up to the traffic” can also result in the opposing traffic missing their turn at the green light, making them sit through two cycles, nearly 11 minutes, before they can go. This happens most often when vehicles run the red light and the traffic going across includes someone moving slow.

The traffic light has never “not worked”

The lights controlling traffic on the bridge are brand new and monitored regularly and, though some adjustments were made in the past to try to optimize the traffic flow, the lights have always worked fine.

There have been claims made by some people that the “lights aren’t working”, however that has never been the case. The timing of the lights work as long as drivers respect the red light.

Common excuses that don’t get you out of a $375 ticket;

  • I missed my green light
  • I need to get home to make supper
  • I’m just following the traffic
  • I thought the lights were broken
  • The lights are always broken

The ticket for running a red light is $125 but it’s tripled in a work zone bringing it to $375. If you run the red light, you won’t necessarily know you are going to get a ticket. While RCMP and Highway Patrol officers may be present and pull you over, it’s far more likely your picture has been taken, recorded and submitted for a ticket to arrive in the mail. That can take up to 3 weeks to get to you. Throughout the project, multiple traffic enforcement agencies attend the bridge and chances are high you never even noticed them. Those traffic law enforcement officers with photo radar and other equipment, designed to ensure tickets for reported speeders and red light runners are backed by solid evidence, will continue to attend the bridge work zone frequently until the project is complete.

Advance Notice Signs & Highway Hotline

On one occasion, an advance notice sign on a route to the bridge has been knocked down. These signs are important, especially for farmers and other truck traffic because they indicate bridge width restrictions well in advance so they can plan alternative routes if necessary. If you these signs knocked down or you see any other problem with work zone signage in this, or any other work zone in Saskatchewan, you can call the number below to report the problem

Report a work zone problem 1-306-244-5535

If you need to travel in the region, you can use the Saskatchewan Government’s Highway Hotline to check current highway conditions.

Highway Hotline – Online

Highway Hotline Phone: 1-888-335-7623

Post Author: Joanne Francis

Joanne Francis is the Editor and Journalist for Nipawin News