Saskatchewan store owner says province’s highway work is ruining business

Laurie Thorsen says the Saskatchewan government‘s road work will ruin his business.

Thorsen has owned Full Circle Service Station, about 35 km north of Prince Albert, Sask., for decades.

In that time, he said there’s never been an accident on his southern approach.

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Now there can’t be, because government road crews have torn it up and won’t rebuild it.

“(Business) will be 40 to 60 per cent down,” he said, “and I don’t know what would happen after that.”

Thorsen said most customers stop at the gas station, restaurant and small store on their way north.

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A government refurbishment project is redoing the sides of Highway 2 to make the area safer.

Thorsen told Global News that keeping only one entrance will make the corner dangerous, because the approximately 20 large trucks that stop every day will have to make a hard right turn.

“(The southern approach lane) is the only way they can get into the property,” he said.

“Otherwise they have to turn in, make a big loop — it’s impossible to come any other way.”

He said the government informed him of the change several months ago and he’s always told them it wasn’t feasible.

He said the government representative told him the approach would have to be farther away, which puts it in the path of two houses.

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Global News asked the Ministry of Highways for comment and if they would rebuild the lane.

In a statement, a spokesperson said safety is a top priority.

“In this case, all appropriate steps have been taken and the landowner in question has been advised of the work that will be taking place,” it read.

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Thorsen said he was hoping for a little compassion and understanding, given what the roadwork means for his business.

“I’ve been doing this for 50 years,” he said, “and it’s not very rewarding to get it taken away.”