March 20, 2019 4:36 pm
Updated: March 21, 2019 7:27 am

$706M budgeted for Saskatchewan’s highways and roads in 2019-20

WATCH ABOVE: The 2019-20 Saskatchewan budget invests $706.1 million in highways and roads with a focus on improving safety. Ryan Kessler reports.

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The Saskatchewan government is allocating $706.1 million in the 2019-20 budget for the province’s highways and roads with a focus on improving safety.

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Minister of Highways and Infrastructure Lori Carr said the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in April 2018 put the spotlight on intersection safety in Saskatchewan.

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The Humboldt Broncos’ team bus collided with a semi-truck on April 6, 2018, on Highway 35 roughly 30 kilometres north of Tisdale near the junction of Highway 335.

Sixteen people died, including players and team staff. Thirteen others were injured.

“Our government is committed to completing safety improvements at not only the Highway 35 and 335 intersection, but throughout the province with a newly developed multi-year safety improvement plan,” Carr said in a press release.

WATCH BELOW: HumboldtStrong allocates $1.9M to Humboldt Broncos bus crash families

The government will invest $20 million in safety improvements across the provincial highway network in 2019-20. Officials said the budget will see improvements to over 60 intersections.

Thirteen million dollars will be for the first year of a $65-million, five-year Enhanced Intersection Safety program. Government officials said it will accelerate the completion of intersection safety enhancements, install rumble strips and clear sight triangles.

Some of the Enhanced Intersection Safety program projects to be completed this year include:

  • intersection improvements at highways 35 and 335;
  • lighting improvements on Highway 3 at Shellbrook;
  • intersection and lighting improvements at highway 21 and 307; and
  • intersection improvements at Highway 1 and Kalium Road.

READ MORE: New mandatory semi truck driver training starts Friday in Saskatchewan

Seven million dollars is earmarked for a Safety Improvement Program. It aims to reduce the frequency and severity of collisions through a variety of spot specific highway safety improvements such as lighting, guardrails and rumble strips.

Safety Improvement Program projects scheduled for 2019-20 include:

  • pedestrian crosswall improvements on Highway 55 at Flying Dust First Nation; and
  • constructing a guardrail on Highway 376 at Maymont Bridge.

READ MORE: Province, feds pledge $81M to improve Saskatchewan highways

Government officials said around 1,000 kilometres (km) of provincial highways are scheduled for improvements and $351 million will go to capital projects, in addition to $89 million for completing the Regina Bypass by the fall of 2019.

The budget provides over $60 million for twinning and passing lanes, including:

  • twinning Highway 7 at Vanscoy, which completes twinning Highway 7 from Saskatoon to Delisle;
  • construction of two sets of passing lanes west of Rosetown on Highway 7 and one set on Highway 2 north of Moose Jaw;
  • continued construction of passing lanes and short sections of twinning on highways 6 and 39 between Regina and Estevan; and
  • commence construction of passing lanes on highways 9 and 10 between Canora and Melville.

The budget also includes $121.3 million for 920 km of repaving and road maintenance across the province.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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