The Government of Saskatchewan is investing $14 million to improve rural roads, bridges and culverts throughout the province. The Municipal Roads for the Economy Program (MREP) provides funding for municipal roads impacted by increased truck traffic, as well as bridge and culvert projects.
The rural municipal road system plays an important part in getting our exports to market. Our investment in MREP supports municipalities and plays an important part in keeping our economy strong. Administered by the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, MREP grants cover up to 50% of the costs of road projects and 30 to 90% of the costs of bridge and culvert projects.
With this year’s budget, our government has invested more than $3 billion into highways and infrastructure over the last three years. This shows that our government understands the need to make our busiest highways safer, and to get our exports to market more efficiently.
A decade of growth means major safety improvements to many of Saskatchewan’s busiest highways. Improvements include continued work on the Warman and Martensville interchanges; continued work on twinning Highway 7 between Vanscoy and Delisle; and starting a series of twinning and passing lane projects on Highways 6 and 39 between Regina and Estevan. Two sets of passing lanes will be built on Highway 6 between Regina and the junction of Highway 39 this year.
Two sets of passing lanes will be built on Highway 4 between North Battleford and Cochin; we are also beginning planning work for passing lanes on Highway 7 between Rosetown and the Alberta border, and Highways 9 and 10 between Melville and Canora. Planning work for passing lanes, widening and repaving Highway 5 between Highway 2 and Saskatoon is also underway. Two sets of passing lanes were opened on Highway 5 between Humboldt and Highway 2 last year.
In addition to these projects, this year’s budget will see 800 kilometres of highway improvements across the province. Other highlights include $13 million to repair flood damage or prevent damage in future years, and $6.7 million to urban municipalities through the Urban Highway Connector Program.
We continue working to improve traffic safety and efficiency with the construction of largest infrastructure project in Saskatchewan’s history – The Regina Bypass. On time and on budget for completion in 2019, the project includes 12 overpasses, 30 years of maintenance, 40 kilometres of new four-lane highway, 55 kilometres of new service roads, and 20 kilometres of four-lane resurfacing. The project involves 97 Saskatchewan-based companies and has created over 8,200 jobs.
At the start of another construction season, please remember to be alert, to drive carefully and to reduce your speed in construction zones.
May 6-12, 2018 is Emergency Preparedness Week. Over the last several years, our province has experienced significant emergency situations like flooding, wildfires and severe weather events. That’s why it is so important to be emergency ready. This means knowing the risks, making a plan, getting an emergency kit and downloading the SaskAlert App. SaskAlert notifies residents of emergencies in their area in real time so they can take action to protect themselves, their families and their property. If you don’t have SaskAlert on your smartphone yet, you can download the app from your phone’s app store or by visiting www.saskalert.ca.