Regina Bypass digs massive ‘borrow pit’ to build overpasses

After close to a year of construction on the Regina Bypass, the site has had over 3.3 million cubic metres of earth moved from pits outside the city.

Officials leading the largest infrastructure project in the province’s history took Global News and other media on a tour of key bypass locations, including the “East Borrow Pit” – an open, tiered pit measuring 35 metres deep and located near Tower Road.

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“Overall, we’re moving in excess of 10-million cubic metres of dirt,” Regina Bypass Design Builders project director Alisdair Dickinson said.

In order to move such a large amount of dirt, Regina Bypass has enlisted the help of 13 100-ton hauling trucks from Fort McMurray, Alta. The trucks are most commonly seen in open pit mining.

When asked what will become of the borrow pit when construction ends, Dickinson said there are a variety of ways to remediate the area.

“I’ve seen borrows used for storage for water, for wetlands, for environmental benefits,” he said.

The enormous amount of earth is now being used to build up the eventual 12 overpasses that dot the bypass.

One such overpass is at the Highway 1 and Tower Road interchange, where early bridge development is taking place.

“We have the dirt in place and now we get into commencement of the structures and the bridge structures at the interchanges,” Dickinson said.

Set for completion by Fall 2017, the interchange will send Trans Canada drivers away from congestion on Victoria avenue.

“We’ll see about 70 percent of those trucks go around the south side of the city,” David Stearns, executive director of major projects on the Regina Bypass, said.

The construction phase of the project for Regina Bypass will last until 2019 and includes:

12 overpasses40 km of new four-lane highway20 km of resurfaced four-lane highway55 km of new service roadsTwinning of approximately five kilometres of Highway 6