Report from the Legisalture – April 21, 2022

Three years ago, the Government of Saskatchewan set some goals to make our roads safer while continuing to stimulate economic growth. Growth Plan 2030 made it clear that our government is committed to improving our highways. We set a goal to improve 10,000 kilometres of highways by 2030. The 2022/23 budget not only works to achieve that goal but puts us ahead of schedule.

Our investment of $846 million this year will see over half of the funding directly attributed to capital work across the province. Seven major projects will either continue or be completed this construction season, helping to increase safety and traffic flow.

Our government continues to believe in the safety offered by twinning high-use roadways or installing passing lanes. Projects this year include twinning Highway 3 west of Prince Albert and completing ten sets of passing lanes on Highways 12 and 16. Also on the list will be two sets of passing lanes on Highway 7 to complete multi-year corridor improvements from Saskatoon to the Saskatchewan-Alberta border, two sets of passing lanes and widening on Highway 5 east of Saskatoon, and planning and pre-construction for twinning projects on Highways 6 and 39 near Regina and Weyburn.

Over the last three years, more than 3,500 kilometres of highways have been improved, with more than 1,100 kilometres scheduled for this year. As soon as the weather allows, work will begin on 170 km of repaving, 550 km of pavement sealing, 100 km of medium treatments and 200 km of Thin Membrane Surface and rural highway upgrades.

This budget will also see significant investment in northern Saskatchewan. Nearly $63 million was dedicated to build, operate and maintain the transportation system. This includes design work to complete Saskatchewan’s portion of the Garson Lake Road, with construction planned to start in 2023, along with improvements to sections of Highway 155.

In addition to improving roads, this budget includes upgrades to supporting infrastructure. With over $19 million in dedicated funding this year, we will focus on turning lanes, streetlights, flashing warning lights, rumble strips, crosswalks and sightlines. This is the fourth of a five-year, $100 million commitment to make upgrades to this area. Another $55 million will repair or rebuild 15 bridges and replace 100 culverts across the province.

Our government will invest nearly $292 million this year in government services infrastructure, including funding for dam and water supply projects, court and correctional capital projects, funding to modernize Saskatchewan’s aerial wildfire suppression fleet and replace obsolete aircraft. An investment of $30 million will improve short line railways and municipal transportation infrastructure, including $22.5 million to support safety on rural municipal roads and bridges.

With this year’s budget, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested about $11.5 billion into highway infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 18,400 kilometres of highways. Saskatchewan is a province that relies on safe, solid transportation. Our kids need safe roads and intersections to get to school, thousands of people use our roadways to get to work and recreational activities each day, and of course, our many industries need reliable infrastructure.

There is still a lot of work to do to meet the needs of travellers and businesses who use our transportation network each day. We are committed to meeting those needs with investments that increase safety and help to get Saskatchewan products to market.