Report from the Legislature – October 31, 2019

The Regina Bypass is now officially open to traffic.

On time and on budget, the opening of the largest transportation infrastructure project in our province’s history is an important milestone that will boost our economy through the efficient movement of goods, by reducing traffic congestion and improving safety.

First Responders have already seen safety improvements since the first section of the Bypass opened in 2017.

The newly-completed project includes:

o 12 overpasses;
o 40 kilometres of new four-lane highway;
o 20 kilometres of resurfaced four-lane highway;
o 55 kilometres of new service roads; and
o Twinning of about five kilometres of Highway 6.

Throughout its construction, the Regina Bypass project helped create thousands of jobs for Saskatchewan companies and contractors. The Regina Bypass had a nearly unblemished safety record during four years of construction. Crews worked nearly five million hours with just one lost-time incident. This is a remarkable feat accomplished by a group of public and private partners who considered safety first in every aspect of the job. That partnership extends to the people and local governments that supported the Bypass and patiently worked through the inevitable disruptions caused by construction.

It is estimated that the Regina Bypass will save $2 million to $3 million in property damage annually, and most importantly, it will drastically reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on our roads. This truly is a project where safety is paramount and its resounding success is a testament to how big things can get done in Saskatchewan.

There are so many people to thank for this project; our provincial and municipal partners, the City of Regina, the Federal Government and surrounding municipalities. From concept to construction and completion, all the players and pieces involved in this massive undertaking, thank you for moving Saskatchewan forward.

Our government remains committed to reducing the number of traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities by improving traffic safety.

More than $9 billion has been invested in highway infrastructure over the past 12 years, repairing and replacing 14,000 kilometres of Saskatchewan highways and 280 bridges.

Our government will continue to improve highway safety throughout the province with more passing lanes and a commitment of $100 million over five years to improve safety at highway intersections.

While improving highway conditions improves driver safety, the dangers posed by impaired and distracted driving remain a serious concern.

Over the past number of years, our government has introduced several measures to reduce impaired driving rates in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan children are now learning about the dangers of impaired driving well before they ever get behind the wheel.

Our government is proud to partner with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada by providing $700,000 to bring the interactive mobile classroom “SmartWheels” to Saskatchewan schools. In the coming year, this will help educate thousands of students in over 100 schools about the risks of alcohol, drugs and impaired driving.

While there is more work to do, we are seeing results. In our most recent progress report, the number of fatalities caused by impaired driving is down 45 per cent and the number of people injured has fallen by 64 per cent since 2008.

While impaired driving numbers are falling, distracted driving offenses are not. Distracted driving is one of the leading factors in collisions and injuries from automobile crashes in Saskatchewan. During the fall legislative session, our government will introduce tougher distracted driving penalties to make driving safer for everyone on Saskatchewan’s streets and highways.