Contractors are paving the Roche Percee access road after years of the village petitioning the province along with recent support from the RMs of Coalfields, Estevan, the City of Estevan, Estevan MLA Lori Carr, and the Southeast Transportation Planning Committee.

Roche Percee Mayor Jay Riedel said Genco Asphalt started work on the road last week, and he expects construction to last another day or two.

Riedel said the road, which the village's residents rely on and is frequently used for tourists checking out the Roche Percee Rocks, was a major safety concern with motorists swerving to avoid potholes. It also caused headaches for snow removal.

"I don't even know if I can put it into words actually," said Riedel, of his enthusiasm for the project happening. "It's been pretty terrible forever down here and it's just been getting worse and worse. So for us to be able to finally get some action on it is unbelievable. 

Roche Percee Mayor Jay Riedel

Riedel pushed his case to Premier Scott Moe when he visited Estevan on August 23.

"We've been putting so much pressure on him for the past three years here that I think maybe they really got a good look at what was going on there, how bad it was and you know the shape it's been in," said Riedel. "We get a lot of people coming to visit the rocks throughout the year and there's a lot of tourism activity in this area. So I think they took it into consideration and fast tracked it."

Carr, who is Saskatchewan's highways minister, said the province is paying for the project. It's expected to cost around $500,000.

Last week, Estevan city councillor and Southeast Transportation Planning Committee rep Lindsay Clark said improvements to the road weren't imminent.

"I think everybody's in denial over it," said Riedel, of the quick turnaround. "I'm sure everybody's going to be quite happy that it got done finally."

He thanked everyone who helped advance the cause, including the RMs of Coalfields and Estevan, Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig, the Southeast Transportation Planning Committee, Carr, and Moe.

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This article has been updated to include the expected cost of the project.