Ring Road begins to see expressway lighting installed

The City of Regina has begun construction to light this stretch of Ring Road between Albert Street South and Wascana Parkway. This corner has been the scene of multiple deaths over the years. Photo by Adam Bent

A Regina mother is relieved to finally see lights being installed on one of Regina’s busiest roads.

Lisa Boehm lost her 17-year-old daughter Katie four years ago in a single car crash on Ring Road between Wascana Parkway and Albert Street South.

“It was a sigh of relief (when I heard the news),” said Boehm. “It’s been a long time coming and I’ve been working with the city and highways for a couple of years now and truly getting very, very frustrated at the length of process that this has been taking.

FINALLY! Hopefully no one else will lose their life or their child on this dark stretch of Road.

Posted by Lisa Myers Boehm on Monday, January 27, 2020

“I actually got involved with the city prior to the lighting that went up between Assiniboine Avenue East and Wascana Parkway. I was trying to influence their decision on placing these lights along the curve and really making that a high priority and I would get shot down.”

The same curve where Katie passed was the cause of two more deaths this past week. Three young men were travelling on the same section just after midnight on March 2. Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Bukhari was pronounced dead on scene. His 22-year-old friend Harsh Sharma, died in hospital March 8.

In an interview with CBC, a close family friend, Ammar Abas, called this section “a curve of death.”

The City of Regina announced that construction to install the lights will start March 9. Phase I of the project, which installed lights along Ring Road between Wascana Parkway and Assiniboine Avenue East, finished in the fall.

The city is calling this Phase II. The project was slated to start in the spring but warm weather and lower than normal snowfall is giving the project a head start.

The city estimates the project will be completed by the end of July.

During her attempts to urge the city to install lights, Boehm learned the curve on that section is a shared responsibility between the Provincial Department of Highways and the City of Regina.

“It took a collaborative effort to move forward,” said Boehm. “With any project that is difficult, things tend to get left so that easier projects can get done first. I tried to get involved with both parties and bring the two parties together and I’m just very grateful that it’s going to be done now.”

The city said construction will start with the northbound lanes and move to the southbound lanes once that is complete.

Ever since the tragedy claimed her daughter, Boehm has been an advocate to ensure that no further deaths happen

“It’s the only section of Ring Road that’s not lighted,” said Boehm. “It’s a dangerous goods route, it’s a highway which means that people are driving 100 or 110 km/h on there. The roadways on that curve are very close and there is a large potential for accidents.”

Boehm attended city meetings in December 2018 and was told the decision had been made to go ahead with Phase I but there was no word on Phase II at the time.

With the city finally taking action on Phase II, Boehm is hoping this is the last of the fatalities.

“My daughter’s life and now the two young men have had their life taken on this stretch of road,” said Boehm. “I don’t want anybody else to die or be injured and I think that lighting played a huge role in my daughter’s accident.

The city has stated drivers can expect periodic traffic and speed restrictions throughout the duration of the construction, although most of the work will take place in the ditch.

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