Wednesday August 27, 2014

Highways key ingredient in provincial budget


The 2014-15 Provincial Budget includes $664.5 million to build, operate and maintain Saskatchewan’s highways and transportation system.

“Our vast network of highways is a key driver in achieving the goals of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris said. “Our economy relies on an efficient transportation system to get our food, fuel and fertilizer to market.”

A key component of the Growth Plan is building the infrastructure that responds to the challenges of growth and creates the conditions for future growth. This year’s budget includes new major projects that fulfill that objective, including pre-construction work on the Regina Bypass Project, twinning Highway 16 from Saskatoon to Clavet, pre-construction work for future passing lanes on Highway 7 between Rosetown and Delisle, and two pilot projects to upgrade obsolete thin membrane surface highways to primary weight supergrids.

The 2014-15 Budget for transportation capital projects is $405.2 million, which includes:

•construction of 19.5 km of new twinning lanes for Highway 16 East of Saskatoon to Clavet;

•pre-construction activities for twinning projects on Highway 7 West of Saskatoon to Delisle for 24 km;

•pre-construction planning for Highway 6 and 39 twinning from Regina to Estevan and Highway 39 East of Estevan to Bienfait  for 8 km;

•pre-construction work for the future passing lanes on Highway 7 from Delisle to Rosetown;

•repaving of 300 km of highway and renewing bridges and culverts; and equipment; accommodations and, other minor capital projects; and

•$31.4 million is for partnership programs including $25.5 million for the Municipal Roads for the Economy program.

The $664.5 million budget represents an increase of $88.5 million over the previous year.  This includes $50 million in unspent appropriation from last year that is being rolled into the 2014-15 budget.

With this year’s budget, the province has invested $1.8 billion in transportation since 2011, well ahead of pace to meet the government’s commitment to invest $2.2 billion over four years.



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