Saskatchewan Highway 11

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Saskatchewan Highway 11 shieldLouis Riel Trail sign

Highway 11
Louis Riel Trail
Route information
Maintained by Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure
& Transport Canada
Length: 406 km[1] (252 mi)
Major junctions
South end: Hwy 1 / Hwy 6 in Regina
 

Hwy 6
Hwy 2
Hwy 44
Hwy 15
Hwy 7 / Hwy 14
Hwy 5
Hwy 16
Hwy 12

Hwy 3
North end: Hwy 2 south of Prince Albert
Location
Rural
municipalities:
159, 189, 190, 221, 222, 252, 253, 282, 283, 314, 344, 403, 463, 461
Major cities: Regina, Saskatoon
Highway system

Provincial highways in Saskatchewan

Hwy 10 Hwy 12
Two way section of Highway 11 showing yellow double line in center of highway indicating passing is not allowed.

Highway 11 is a major north-south highway in Saskatchewan, Canada that connects the province's three largest cities: Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert. It is a structural pavement major arterial highway which is approximately 406 kilometres (252 mi) long.[2] It is also known as the Louis Riel Trail (LRT) after the 19th century Métis leader. It runs from Highway 6 north of Regina until Highway 2 south of Prince Albert. Historically the southern portion between Regina and Saskatoon was Provincial Highway 11, and followed the Dominion Survey lines on the square, and the northern portion between Saskatoon and Prince Albert was Provincial Highway 12.

From Regina to Saskatoon, Highway 11 is a four-lane divided highway except in the village of Chamberlain, where the road narrows to two lanes through the community, including its intersection with Highway 2 south to Moose Jaw. All intersections in this segment are at-grade except for the section from Regina to Lumsden and in Saskatoon. Highway 11 passes through Saskatoon, following the south leg of Circle Drive, the Idylwyld Freeway and Idylwyld Drive through the city, including its downtown. Motorists seeking to bypass downtown Saskatoon can follow the northeast Circle Drive bypass, although this is not officially part of Highway 11.

North of Saskatoon, the road continues as a four-lane highway[3] past the communities of Warman, Osler, Hague, Rosthern and Duck Lake. Highway 11 then runs through the Nisbet Provincial Forest and past the hamlet of MacDowall before it meets Highway 2 approximately 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of Prince Albert. Highway 11 ends here, although the signage indicates that it runs concurrent with Highway 2 to the Prince Albert city limits (the 3 kilometre stretch is marked as Highway 2/11) where the actual end shield for Highway 11 is seen.

Route description[edit]

Regina and Sherwood No. 159[edit]

Bulk Dangerous Goods Route Must Follow Route Signs City of Regina Traffic Bylaw and Sherwood Industrial Park, Use Pasqua St., Road Signage at Regina

The route starts off in Regina, the capital of the province. Hwy 11 begins at the junction with the Trans Canada Highway as a 7 km (4.3 mi) concurrency with Hwy 6. Besides being the provincial capital, Regina is a cultural and commercial metropole for both southern Saskatchewan and adjacent areas in the neighbouring American states of North Dakota and Montana. Hwy 11 begins in a moist mixed grassland region known as the Regina Plain ecoregion. Evraz Regina, a North American steel company formerly known as IPSCO, is located in the Sherwood Industrial Park (SIP) north of Regina.[2][4] The final chapter for the namesake of the Louis Riel Trail occurred in Regina. It was here that Métis leader Louis Riel was tried and hung on September 18, 1885 for treason.[5] In the spring of 2008, Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Christine Tell proclaimed in Duck Lake, that "the 125th commemoration, in 2010, of the 1885 Northwest Resistance is an excellent opportunity to tell the story of the prairie Métis and First Nations peoples' struggle with Government forces and how it has shaped Canada today."[6] The length of the route is an asphalt concrete primary weight highway which is part of the national highway system (NHS)[7] [8][9] The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (SHS) South Central Planning Committee manages the construction and maintenance of the highway near Regina which handles approximately 11,000 vehicles per day (VPD) in the Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) count.[10][11]

Lumsden No. 189[edit]

Adopt A Highway Road Sign

Hwy 11 branches to the northwest from Hwy 6 (Albert Street) at Regina's north end and intersects Pasqua Street before reaching the city limits. Once out of Regina, it then passes the junction of Hwy 734. A steep decline begins into the Qu'Appelle Valley meeting Hwy 20 and Lumsden at the lowest depression the bridge over the Qu'appelle River.[1] The village of Lumsden was created in 1890 in conjunction with the coming of the CNR. When Saskatchewan became a province the Local Improvement District was formed, becoming the Rural Municipality of Lumsden No. 189 in 1912.[12] One of the many administrative concerns of the RM was road construction and maintenance.[13] The Qu'Appelle Valley provides a scenic route as the LRT traverses the Qu'Appelle River.[14] Lumsden Historical Museum,[15] The town of Lumsden, located on the Qu'Appelle River is at the bottom of the valley. The AADT within the valley declines to over 7,000 vpd after Lumsden.[11] The northern hill out of the Qu'appelle Valley meets the intersection of Hwy 54, which provides access to Regina Beach on Long Lake.(Last Mountain Lake).[1][16] The Arm River Plain is well-suited to agricultural venture and doyote, red fox, and jack rabbit may be spotted. There are archaeological sites along the Arm River Valley including a bison kill site and also in this area Bigmouth Buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus) along with varieties of sedge are flora of special concern.[17] The SHS Central Planning Transportation Committee manages the route from here to just south of Saskatoon.[10]

Dufferin No. 190[edit]

Highway 11, Qu'Appelle Valley

The LRT continues west for another 11.1 kilometres (6.9 mi) before turning north west. The Hwy 642 intersection features the small hamlet of Bethune, Saskatchewan to the north and Hwy 354.[1] There is a picnic area north of Bethune.[18] In the Allan Hills is the village of Findlater with 49 residents on the south side of the LRT, and picnic site on the north.[2][19] In 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) is the northbound turnoff for Hwy 2 to Prince Albert. This commences the 11.6 kilometres (7.2 mi) concurrency with Hwy 2 into the town of Chamberlain.[1]

Sarnia No. 221[edit]

Chamberlain, a village of 108 residents is at the intersection of the LRT, Hwy 2 south to Moose Jaw, and Hwy 733. A Surveyor and Ox Cart created by Davidson welder, farmer and sculptor Don Wilkins was erected in Chamberlain.[20] are two sculptures[21] A large sculpture of the prairie flower Prairie Lilies is also erected at Chamberlain.[20]

North of Chamberlain is a picnic stop area on the west side of the highway and in another 14.3 kilometres (8.9 mi) is an unincorporated area of Aylesbury. This hamlet commemorates the LRT history with an Ox and Red River Cart sculpture by Don Wilkins located southwest of the LRT near the town entrance.[18][22] The Midlakes Community Coalition erected this statue in 1999.[22] Near the highway turn off at Aylesbury is a cemetery located on a hill near Lake Alexander.[23] The Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus circumcinctus) is an endangered species of this area.[24] Residents are also enumerated in census Division No. 6.[25]

Craik No. 222[edit]

Slippery When Frozen Road Sign

Another 13.6 kilometres (8.5 mi) is the intersection of the LRT with Hwy 732. Hwy 732 is a paved road which travels through the Iskwao Creek Valley.[26] In 3.3 kilometres (2.1 mi) is the intersection with Hwy 643 where Craik is nestled within the triangle made by these three highways, Hwy 643, Hwy 732 and Hwy 11. Craik & District Regional Park are located 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north east of Craik.

The buffalo hunter with buffalo gun and Red River cart sculptures made by Don Wilkins, President of the LRT Association, are erected at Craik.[27][28][29] "Red River Cart First used in the Red River area to bring in meat from the buffalo hunt, the Red River Cart was later used in freighting. Constructed entirely of wood and tied together with leather, these carts were extremely stable and would be drawn through mud and marsh, floated and carried loads of 500 to 1000 pounds."[30] The Craik Sustainable Living Project (CSLP) Eco-Centre and “dugout house” a typical 19th century living quarters can be toured with Pelican Eco-Tours. The park features Arm Lake which is the reservoir created from damming the Squaw Valley Creek which used to run from the Qu'Appelle River in the Eyebrow Hills north east just south of Davidson.[31][32] The Arm River Valley is visible north of Chamberlain and continues to run parallel to the LRT from Bethune to Craik.[33] Craik and District Golf Course is a 9 hole green golf course 1/2 mile east of the LRT.[33] Craik has been sponsoring development and education about “ecovillages”, sustainable housing development.[14]

Arm River No. 252[edit]

Truck Weigh Scale 1.5 km - Next Left, Telephone - Road Signage

In a distance of 12.2 kilometres (7.6 mi) is the small village of Girvin at the Hwy 749 which features The Buffalo (and Red River Cart) sculpture, the first piece made by Don Wilkins and features the buffalo a vital part of the fur trading and Métis life in the 18th and 19th centuries.[22][27] "Spirit of the Plain This work is intended as a symbolic tribute to those peoples, native and non-native, past and present, who have found harmony under the prairie sky and achieved a calm rhythm with the natural forces of this great land..."[34]

Daivdson, a town of over 950 residents is the halfway point between Saskatoon and Regina.[19][35] Ditto the giant coffee pot and coffee cup in Davidson were erected in 1996 offering hospitality and a cup of coffee at the halfway rest stop.[35][36][37]

Sign for the Arm River Rest Area.[38]

The Métis Fiddler and Oxcart statue were erected at Davidson in tribute to the LRT designation and the history of the métis. The Iskwao Creek begins at Davidson and winds south to the Qu'Appelle Valley west of Girvin and Craik.[39][40] A large white house erected in 1904 by Wells family north of Davidson and can be seen from the LRT.[41] Davidson Golf & Country Club is 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the town of Davidson on the LRT and provides 9-hole grass greens. Davidson Campground and Swimming Pool is located near the golf course.[14] This area is a part of the

Saskatoon—Biggar Economic Region and the Mid Sask Rural Economic Development Authority (REDA).[42] Between the Qu'appelle Valley and the town of Dundurn on either side of Davidson, the AADT is approximately 5,000 vpd.[11]

Willner No. 253[edit]

Traveling another 14.7 kilometres (9.1 mi) northwest is the junction with Allen Road, and following that is the intersection of Knob Hill Road. Townline Road which is south of Bladworth which is a village of 70 residents near the intersecting line between Willner and McCraney rural municipalities.[1][19] Just 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Bladworth are the Black & Silver Lakes waterfowl nesting areas.[43] The distance between Bladworth and Kenaston is 19.5 kilometres (12.1 mi).[1]

McCraney No. 282[edit]

Bonnington Springs Campground is located at Kenaston. Kenaston was originally named Bonnington Springs and is located at the intersection with Hwy 15.[1][44] Kenaston, the with the logo, Blizzard Capital of Saskatchewan, features a large sculpture of a Snowman built in 1983, but not visible from the highway.[37] Between Kenaston and Hwy 764 intersection is a length of 24 kilometres (15 mi) and the locality of Strong, now just a ghost town.[1][45] Residents belong to SARM Division No. 5 and are enumerated in Census Division No. 11 which resulted in a population of about 250 Kenaston residents.[19][46]

Rosedale No. 283[edit]

Maximum 70 Speed Limit Road Sign through Chamberlain

Hanley, a town of over 450, is located at the intersection of Hwy 764. Hanley erected in 2000, a stone monument honoring its historic Opera House.[37][47][48] At the intersection with Indi Road is a marker in commemoration of Indi Siding. To the west of the road is Indi Lake, and to the east, Theressa Lake which has now become a portion of Blackstrap Lake. It is 8.3 kilometres (5.2 mi) between Indi siding and the intersection of Hwy 211.[1][32]

Dundurn No. 314[edit]

Photo taken from Saskatchewan Highway 11, LRT traveling south from Saskatoon to Regina

Blackstrap Provincial Park, Blackstrap Lake and Mountain are two man made features to the east of Route 11 near Dundurn, Saskatchewan. The 1971 Canada Winter Games were hosted at this venue which sported ski run and ski jump.[49] Blackstrap Provincial Park can be accessed by turning west onto Hwy 211. Wilson Museum can be seen on the outskirts of the town of Dundurn from the LRT.[49] Dundurn is a town of approximately 650 which is located at the intersection of Hwy 211 and the AADT is around 6,000 vpd.[11] [19] The Bone Gatherer and horse and cart statues are visible from the LRT at Dundurn.[50] Vast quantities of buffalo bones were gathered across the prairie in the last years of the 19th century. The bones were shipped by rail to be made into fertilizer. The huge herds of buffalo roaming the prairie were a thing of the past.[27] "Dundurn. Honoring the Past Striving for a bright future. Dundurn, located in the heartland of the great Northern Bison range was known to buffalo hunters as Round Prairie. Cree, Métis and Dakota Sioux chose the wooded hills of this historic land as a good place to stay. Cattle ranching was [sic] established here in 1886 and since then the growth and prosperity of our community has been, to a great extent, dependent on the agricultural sector. The horse drawn Red River car and Bone Picker are reminiscent of an era ending when the skeletal remains of approximately 2,000,000 buffalo were gathered in the vicinity of Dundurn and Hanley. The influx of homesteaders, beginning in 1903, marked a new chapter in our story of progress and continuity."[51] The Strehlow Road intersection marks the old access road to the locality of Strehlow as well Haultain Road which is the next junction marks the old access road to the locality of Haultain.[1] The former Haultain one room school house site is now located on the Canadian Forces Base Dundurn grounds.

LRT traveling south from Saskatoon to Regina

Saskatchewan International Raceway is a drag racing venue located along the LRT, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south of Saskatoon.[35] Another 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) along the LRT is the intersection with Floral Road to the east marking the birthplace town of Gordie Howe, and Grasswood Road on the west is at a small commercial area. Between Grasswood and Saskatoon the AADT increases to over 8,000 vpd, and the remainder of the route is within the jurisdiction of the SHS North Central Transportation Planning Committee.[10][11] The Saskatoon Plain section of the moist mixed grassland of dark brown soils is suitable for cereal grains, feed grains and forage crops.[2]

Corman Park No. 344[edit]

Highway 11 North, City Centre Saskatoon entrance

Traveling through Saskatoon from Grasswood Road to the Hwy 16 turn off encompasses 22.9 kilometres (14.2 mi) and entails going around Saskatoon on Circle Drive.[1] Numerous attractions in Saskatoon, the largest city of Saskatchewan, include the Forestry Farm park and zoo, Mendel Art Gallery, and the Wanuskewin National Heritage Park.[35] The cloverleaf interchange at Circle Drive in Saskatoon was one of the first two SK interchanges which opened in 1967.[52] "Future site of the Idylwyld Drive and Circle Drive South interchange. This project is funded by the Federal Asia-Pacific Gateway and corridor initiative program and the Province of Saskatchewan." is the quotation on a sign erected at the future site of the next Circle Drive interchange. After crossing the South Saskatchewan River on the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge (freeway bridge) are the end points at Idylwyld Drive North of both Hwy 14 and Hwy 7 along 22nd Street. At 23 Street East, is the end point of Hwy 5 also at the Idylwyld Drive North, LRT concurrency. The 2.8 kilometres (1.7 mi) concurrency with the Yellowhead Highway begins at the intersection with Circle Drive in the north industrial. The end of this concurrency marks the beginning of the next 3.0 kilometres (1.9 mi) concurrency with Hwy 12, before the LRT branches off from due north to a north-east direction of travel.[1]

At the intersection of Hwy 784 is the city of Warman with over 7,000 residents and the AADT is about 10,000 vpd.[1][11][19] Turning west on Hwy 784 is the Clarkboro ferry route across the South Saskatchewan River.[18]

Circle Drive South - Idylwyld Drive proposed interchange

The town of Osler has 926 residents and is located at the intersection with Hwy 393. The AADT on the stretch of highway between Osler and Warman declines to about 7,700 vpd.[1][11] A Vintage Car on a Pole is a large roadside attraction which can be seen at Osler.[53] Another 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) of travel along the LRT is the intersection with Hwy 394 at the north end of Osler.[1]

Rosthern No. 403[edit]

The town of Hague with approximately 700 residents, is 1.1 kilometres (0.68 mi) south of the intersection with Hwy 785.[19] The intersection Hwy 312 is north of Hague by 17.6 kilometres (10.9 mi) and Rosthern is nestled just south of this intersection.[1] Traffic has again declined with the greater distance from Saskatoon and Rosthern, with an average of 5,000 vpd between Warman and Hague, and about 4,500 vpd between Hague and Rosthern.[11] Rosthern, a town of over 1300 people is located in the "valley of the converging branches of the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers."[19][54] The South Saskatchewan and North Saskatchewan River provide two important fish habitats for the province of Saskatchewan. There are 32 species of fish in the South Saskatchewan, and 25 species in the North Saskatchewan.[2]

Clarence Avenue and Idylwyld Drive interchange constructed 2007-2008

The large roadside attraction of a wheat sheaf[55] is located to the east of town at the tourism office and is visible from the LRT.[56] The Station Arts center has converted the historic CN Station into an art gallery and summer theater center and is located at Rosthern.[57] This section of the LRT travels through the Waldheim Plain of the Aspen parkland prairie ecoregion which features fescue grasslands dotted with Aspen tree bluffs. Black loamy soil types are excellent for specialty crops as well as grain and cereals which makes agriculture the predominant economic industry.[2] Seager Wheeler's Maple Grove Farm, a National Historic Site, is located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east of Rosthern by taking Hwy 312 from the LRT. Seager Wheeler (1868–1961) was a famous farmer developing hardy wheat varieties for the Saskatchewan short growing season.[58]

Pool Inland Terminal turn off between Saskatoon and Dundurn Divided highway segment

Hwy 312 provides access to the Batoche National Historic Site which features the Caron house, St. Antoine de Padoue church and rectory.[59] Batoche is where Louis Riel fought his final battles in the North-West Rebellion of 1885.[57] The Métis adopted a river lot system for settlement near Batoche along the South Saskatchewan River.[27] The coming of the surveyor marking the plains into square quarter sections disrupted the established way of life. The Métis were offered scrip between 1886 and 1902 as compensation for their loss of land. Scrip land entitlement comprised 240 acres (0.97 km2). The available lands were not along the original river valley, or near the original settlement, so many Métis sold their scrip for money.[60] Fish Creek near Batoche was originally named Tourond's Coulee, Northwest Territories (NWT). The Battle of Fish Creek memorial is near Batoche, and St. Laurent de Grandin features the St. Laurent Shrine.[14][61] The intersection of Hwy 312 is north of Hague by 18.1 kilometres (11.2 mi).[1]

Duck Lake No. 463[edit]

Hwy 2 Hwy 11 junction

Duck Lake is just south of the Hwy 212 intersection and Fort Carlton Provincial Historic Park is west of the LRT on Hwy 212. This historic fur trade center was also an integral part of the North West Resistance.[1][57] Duck Lake along route 11 also re-tells the story of the North-West Rebellion in murals on town buildings. Duck Lake Regional Interpretive Center relates the history of first nations, Métis and an immigrant pioneer Society to the area.[62] As well, Glen Scrimshaw Art Gallery provides a showing of local artist Glen Scrimshaw.[57] After Duck Lake the average vpd again decelines to just aboe 3,000 AADT.[11] Traveling 26.9 kilometres (16.7 mi) along the LRT is MacDowall which is west of the LRT.[1] Noah's Ark Family Fun Park is 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) north of MacDowall and provides a petting zoo and 18-hole miniature golf course.[14] Nisbet Plain ecoregion, a part of the Boreal transition of the Boreal Plain is evident as the landscape changes to a mix of agricultural activities and forested areas. The black and dark gray soils are very fertile for a wide variety of crops. Along with aspen, white spruce, tamarack and jack pine are evident. Deer, moose, elk along with the occasional black bear can be seen along the route in this area.[2]

Prince Albert No. 461[edit]

Junction of Highway 11 and Highway 2 on a nice summer day.
Photo credit: SriMesh

It is another 22 kilometres (14 mi) of travel in a north east direction to arrive at the terminus of the LRT, the intersection with Saskatchewan Highway 2 where the approximate AADT increases near the city of Prince Albert to 6,000 vpd.[1][11] The final stretches of the LRT is in the boreal Nisbet Forest. Trails through the forest are enjoyed by snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, horseback riders, hikers, and campers[14]

History[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Tourist Attractions - Science Centre IMAX, R.C.M.P. Museum, Royal Sask. Museum Road Signage at Regina Divided Highway segment

The Qu’Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway came through between Regina and Prince Albert through Saskatoon as early as 1890 providing an early method of travel following the red river cart and trail days.[63] Chamberlain and Aylesbury were first linked via a highway in 1929, before this date transportation between the two was by a variety of trails. The summer of 1929 also started another road leaving the Qu'Appelle River valley east. Construction required building up low spots with elevating graders and dump wagons operated by horses. The elevating grader was to till unbroken soil and turn it towards a conveyor which lifted the dirt into the dump wagons. This process used 8 horses pulling in the front, and another eight at the rear pushing. The fresno crew constructed the level areas. Ditches were constructed on a 7% grade and filled with field rock to help prevent erosion. One of the main problems constructing the highway was the heavy field stone knolls. This highway served until 1949 when it was upgraded.[64]

Condie Hwy 734 junction

"The upland collection area for the underground streams comes together on top of the valley near Chamberlain. Highway construction surveyors had to curve the right-of-way to avoid this area. Another interesting diversion that the highway surveyors had to make, at the insistence of local residents, was to go around a large stone that had a metal marker spike in it, likely set up and recorded by early explorers. This site is now marked on the LRT with a large silhouette buffalo statue made by Don Wilkins."[23][65]

A large white house erected in 1904 by Wells family north of Davidson and can be seen from the LRT. The Wells family came north from Chicago and started The Wells Land & Cattle Co. becoming land agents for settlers from the agents. The Wells Land & Cattle Co. purchased land around Davidson, Arm River and Qu'Appelle River for homestead settlement.[41]

In 1971, the Department of Highways was moved from Hawarden to Kenaston closer to the main Highway, which was Hwy 11.[66] Hanley erected in 2000, a stone monument honoring its historic Opera House.[47][48] The 1924 Hanley Opera House was a center of cultural activity in the area. The Opera House featured Mary Pickford, Harry Lauder, Boris Karloff and the Chatauqua performers to name a few between its inception and 1967 when the new Centennial Hall was used for performances. The original Opera House was demolished in the 1980s as it was unsafe.[37]

Roads were provided and maintained through a committee formed in 1907 by Local Improvement District 15.B.3 around Hanley. The early challenges were the hilly area and creek to the east. Early prairie roads were trails which became so rutted that they could barely be crossed over. To make roads out of these trails horse drawn blade graders were used to level out hummocks and fill badger holes. Horse drawn slush scrapers filled in sloughs. More advanced fresno scrapers replaced the slush scrapers as they could make longer and wider swaths across the sloughs. By ploughing the prairie soil at the road allowance, and then using road graders to pull in the dirt roads could be made wide enough for the first cars of the area.[67] The rural municipality of Rosedale No. 283 was incorporated December 13, 1909.[68]

Winter trails in the horse and buggy days would have two tracks across the prairie several feet higher than the prairie sod due to the snow built up on them. Summer raised roads were built up by using two horse scrapers digging an area alongside the highway, then using the loose dirt to widen the highway. Sixteen and twenty four horses were often needed to pull the graders, and several drivers were required. Any work done by a farmer would reduce his payment in taxes.[69]

The 1926 highway map of Saskatchewan marks the route of Provincial Highway 11 following along the CNR line using township and range roads, so travel is in lines straight north, changing direction to west travel at 90 degree angles from Regina through to Saskatoon. Only Provincial Highway 12 is marked in the same fashion between Saskatoon and Prince Albert on the 1926 highway map of Saskatchewan, which has formed the base of the northern section of the LRT.[70] (The current Saskatchewan Highway 12 travels between Saskatoon and Shell Lake.)

As tractors replaced horses in the field and motorized vehicles replaced horses on the road, an increasing need arose to replace the early dirt trails with graded gravel highways.[66] In the early 1930s, the gravel highway constructed between Chamberlain and Aylesbury in 1929 was further extended to Dundurn to meet this need.[71] Shortly thereafter, the graveled highway extended between Saskatoon and Regina.

Later History[edit]

As the Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) increased, the need for wider, all-weather, paved roads became increasingly apparent. As early as the 1930s, various Saskatchewan cities, towns, and rural municipalities lobbied the provincial government to develop hard surfaced roads, including Highway 11, to connect its major centers, particularly Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw.[72][73] Saskatoon mayor R.M. Pinder argued that Highway 11 should receive priority because "it serves the greatest number of people for the longest period of time" and its hard surfacing would facilitate the travel of American tourists to Prince Albert National Park and support transport operations to and from the Dundurn Military Camp.[72] A dispute flared up between Saskatoon and Prince Albert community organizations over whether Highway 11 or Highway 2 should be paved first.[74] Prince Albert advocated prioritizing Highway 2 as a more direct route between the northern and southern parts of the province and a more attractive route for American tourists driving to Prince Albert National Park.[75] Saskatoon preferred Highway 11 because the alternative would bypass it and not provide as many Saskatchewan residents the transportation benefits of direct access to a paved highway.[76] In 1950, the provincial government indicated that it would prioritize the paving of Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Regina;[77] by October 1952 this section was completely paved.[78] The improved highway was also rerouted in some places, including the section between Bladworth and Dundurn which was completely rebuilt,[77] and bypasses were built around some towns and villages through which it had formerly passed. Although the highway's route had not entirely reached its present contours, it was made straighter; the distance traversed between Saskatoon and Regina was reduced by 27 miles.[78] It more closely followed the CNR tracks and contained fewer right angle corners than it had in 1926.[78][79] The highway between Saskatoon and Prince Albert received less attention during this period; a 1956 highway map shows that it was still almost entirely gravel.[79]

Following the completion of the Trans Canada Highway, federal funds became available for provincial highway projects. Highway 11 was considered an important transportation route from a national perspective, and therefore received funding under the National Highways Project.[80] The highway between Saskatoon and Rosthern was partially paved and the remainder was oiled to create a dust-free all-weather surface, and in 1964, the last remaining gravel section of the highway, between Rosthern and its junction with Highway 2, was oiled.[81][82] In the latter half of the 1960s, many sections of the highway between Regina and Saskatoon were reconstructed and given wide shoulders; previously some segments had no shoulders.[83] During the same period, the Saskatoon to Prince Albert portion was rebuilt to "Trans-Canada standards" and extensively re-routed to follow the same course as the CNR tracks which shortened the travel distance between the two cities by 13 miles.[84] A new route was constructed to connect Saskatoon and Rosthern via Warman and Hague.[84][85] Once this phase of construction was complete, the Rosthern to Prince Albert segment was upgraded and fully paved, and the segment between MacDowall and Prince Albert was re-routed along a straighter course.[84]

In 1960, the section between Regina and Lumsden was the first to be converted to a four lane twinned highway.[86] Twinning the rest of highway between Saskatoon and Regina commenced in 1968 with the conversion of the segment between Saskatoon and Dundurn.[64][86] Work gradually progressed until the final section between Craik to a point just north of Davidson was twinned in late 1978.[86][87] With the exception of a three-kilometre, two-lane segment through Chamberlain,[86] the newly constructed four lane sections of the highway bypassed all the towns and villages between Saskatoon and Regina.[85][87] An initiative to twin the highway between Saskatoon and Prince Albert was launched in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2006, Provincial Highways and Transportation Minister Eldon Lautermilch stated that "twinning will improve the province's busiest highways to support tourism and economic development, and move our export goods to market efficiently across inter-provincial borders."[88] Sections of highway nearest to Saskatoon were twinned first; with the paving of newly constructed lanes along a 13-kilometre stretch between Prince Albert and MacDowall, the project was completed on 25 October 2013.[3][89][90]

On June 20, 2001 the entire length of Hwy 11 was re-named the Louis Riel Trail (LRT) at a ceremony which took place at the Duck Lake Regional Interpretive Centre. The LRT connects major sites of the 1885 North-West Rebellion.[14] Mid-Lakes Community coalition, Saskatchewan Highway 11 communities and municipalities, the Saskatchewan Métis Nation, and the Saskatchewan History and Folk Lore Society approached Highways and Transportation Minister Pat Atkinson about the designation. Saskatchewan Highway 11 is the actual course followed by the RCMP and Louis Riel to arrive at Regina for the trial of Louis Riel.[33] The LRT sign features a red river cart featured in yellow on a blue background.[91]

Maintenance[edit]

Divided Highway section of Hwy 11 where shoulder bumps are visible which vibrate the vehicle when driven upon indicating a switch from driving within the driving lane to driving on the highway shoulder.

Tenders for construction work on Highway 11 in 2008 amounted to $63.3 million of which $30 million saw 35 kilometres (22 mi) twinned between Prince Albert and Saskatoon. Among the upcoming projects which have received approval were the "paving of two sections of Highway 11 including 12.1 kilometres (7.5 mi) of highway north of Osler to south of Hague, and 11.3 kilometres (7.0 mi) of highway north of Macdowall to the Junction of Highway 2."[92] The first project was scheduled for completion by October 2008.[93]

In 2002 a resurfacing project of 8.4 kilometres (5.2 mi) of Highway 11 was undertaken on a section 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) north of Macdowall. The approval for the $680,000 tender was awarded by Highways and Transportation Minister Mark Wartman.[94]

Earlier maintenance included $897,000 for paving of 12.3 kilometres (7.6 mi) near Hanley for a project cost of $897,000. Highways and Transportation Minister Judy Bradley awarded contracts for work in 1999.[95]

The first asphalt rubber project occurred July 2007 on Saskatchewan Highway 11. Close to 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) near Davidson show the rubberized asphalt road surface on the right lane at a cost of $126,800. The next rubberized asphalt project in the summer of 2007, was 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) through the town of Chamberlain. The $1.4 million spent here included the rubberized asphalt pavement surface, curbs and catch basins.[95]

"The mining, exploration, and oil and gas sectors across northern Saskatchewan funnel thousands of heavy trucks through Prince Albert on a daily basis. Improving this vital gateway will not only make travel safer and far more efficient for commercial traffic, but it will enhance the drive for thousand of visitors who head north each year to take advantage of our northern lakes"[93]

Plans[edit]

Pinkie Road is a proposed 4 lane twinned highway connector road linking two National Highway System routes as a part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI). Hwy 1, the Trans Canada Highway and Hwy 11 will be linked by this new route west of Regina.[96][97][98]

Intersections from south to north[edit]

Rural municipality Location km[99][100] Mile Destinations Notes
City of Regina 0 0 Hwy 1Calgary, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Winnipeg
CanAm Highway.svg Hwy 6 north – Southey, Melfort
Victoria Avenue East
South end of concurrency with Hwy 6 on Ring Road
Hwy 11 begins
5 3 Hwy 46 east – Pilot Butte, Balgonie McDonald Street
8 5 CanAm Highway.svg Hwy 6 north – Southey, Melfort Albert Street
North end of concurrency with Hwy 6 on Ring Road
Hwy 11 turns northwest and leaves Regina
Lumsden RM Lumsden 31 19 Hwy 20 north – Craven, Strasbourg, Lanigan, Humboldt
  37 23 Hwy 54 north – Regina Beach
Dufferin RM   56 35 Hwy 354 north – Dilke
  74 46 Hwy 2 north – Watrous, Cudworth, Wakaw, Prince Albert South end of concurrency with Hwy 2
Chamberlain 85 53 Hwy 2 south – Tuxford, Moose Jaw
733
MunicipalRoadSign.jpg
Hwy 733 east
north end of concurrency with Hwy 2
Arm River RM Davidson 143 89 Hwy 44 west – Loreburn, Elrose, Eston
653
MunicipalRoadSign.jpg
Hwy 653 north
Township Road 270
Rosedale RM Kenaston 176 109 Hwy 15 – Rosetown, Outlook, Nokomis, Raymore  
Dundurn RM   213 132
663
MunicipalRoadSign.jpg
Hwy 663 north – Floral
 
Dundurn 216 134 Hwy 211 east – Blackstrap Provincial Park  
City of Saskatoon 248 154 YellowheadShield.jpg Hwy 16 east – Lanigan, Wynyard, Foam Lake, Yorkton Circle Drive
Hwy 11 turns west and follows Idylwyld Drive through Saskatoon
251 156 Hwy 219 south – Gardiner Dam Lorne Ave.
254 158 Hwy 7 west – Delisle, Rosetown, Kindersley, Calgary
Hwy 14 west – Biggar, Wilkie, Unity
22 St. W.
255 158 Hwy 5 east – Humboldt, Watson, Wadena 23 St. W.
259 161 Hwy 7 west – Delisle, Rosetown, Kindersley, Calgary
Hwy 12 north – Martensville, Blaine Lake, Shell Lake
Hwy 14 west – Biggar, Wilkie, Unity
YellowheadShield.jpg Hwy 16 east – Lanigan, Wynyard, Foam Lake, Yorkton
Circle Drive
Southern end of concurrency with Hwy 12 and Hwy 16.
264 164 YellowheadShield.jpg Hwy 16 west – Langham, The Battlefords, Maidstone, Lloydminster Northern end of concurrency with Hwy 16
Concurrency with Hwy 12 continues.
Corman Park RM   267 166 Hwy 12 north – Martensville, Blaine Lake, Shell Lake Northern end of concurrency with Hwy 12
Hwy 11 turns northeast
Warman 285 177 Hwy 305 west – Dalmeny, Langham
Rosthern RM Rosthern 330 205 Hwy 312 – Waldheim, Wakaw
Duck Lake RM Duck Lake 347 216 Hwy 212 west – Fort Carlton Provincial Historic Park
Prince Albert RM   406 252 Hwy 2 – La Ronge, Prince Albert, Wakaw, Moose Jaw South of the city of Prince Albert
Hwy 11 ends
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

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External links[edit]