The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure 2017-18 budget released on Wednesday totals $1.1 billion for construction work on the province’s roads.
This year’s budget provides $343 million for capital projects that will see improvements to 990 kilometres of roads over the coming year.
“This is the second largest transportation budget in Saskatchewan’s history and the second year in a row that we will invest more than $1.0 billion into our highways and roads,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit said in a release.
“We continue to invest in highways and make improvements throughout Saskatchewan, but we know there is still more work to be done and this budget is a good step in that direction.”
Of the funding allocated to the ministry, $500 million is committed to the Regina bypass.
The Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association (SHCA) applauded the government’s investment into the province’s transportation system.
“Today’s budget announcement shows the government remains committed to strengthening our economy. Saskatchewan is a trade-reliant land-locked province, and our core infrastructure is the economic artery of the province,” SHCA president Shantel Lipp said in a release.
“Saskatchewan is a world leader in the production of potash, uranium, natural gas, mustard, flaxseed, lentils and now leads the country in oil-well development. We ship over 65 per cent of what we produce outside of our borders. Nothing moves until the roads are built.”
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Lipp noted that without a strong transportation network, business costs rise and productivity decreases resulting in jobs leaving Saskatchewan.